As states around the country start lifting pandemic restrictions on businesses, it’s only natural for discussions to arise concerning a return to the office. Whether you have returned full time or are managing a hybrid work schedule there is much to prepare for. While these discussions may raise some anxiety, I hope it also brings some excitement! I’ve been trying to go in for a few hours here and there since I’ve been vaccinated, and to be frank, its highlighted how much I miss casual office interactions. Remote work is quite deliberate in who we interact with, and some of those unexpected encounters with co-workers provide an energy that I’ve been missing.
As plans are made for more workplace activities, here are six preparatory steps to keep in mind with your return to the office –
1. Workplace attire
Do your in-office work clothes still fit? This can go either way, maybe you’ve devoted yourself to fitness over the last year, or maybe you’ve indulged in a few extra desserts… Either way, try your clothes on to make sure! I found that I only have one real pair of pants left in my closet…
2. Practice your morning routine
The work from home environment has allowed me to cut some time from my process. A return to the office probably necessitates a little more morning preparation. So, practice the routine! Get up early, take a shower, get your things together, put on your office clothes and confirm how long you need. If you really want to feel prepared, take a test drive to your workplace! One step at a time.
3. What’s for lunch?
And not just lunch, are you a snacker like me? Without easy access to your fridge and pantry, you’ll need to bring some food with you. Or better yet, have the office order snacks ahead of time, we’ve got you covered. Oh and don’t forget to make sure the office water cooler is cleaned, here’s how.
4. Think of your pets
Does your new dog have some separation anxiety? Start working with the Cold Nose College, it was a great process for me, and now my dog Mindy does wonderful on her own.
This step also applies to children and other dependents. Especially with summer vacation right around the corner – make a plan for their activities while you’re at work. To help keep learning top of mind throughout the summer months, check out these resources.
5. Household Chores
Has vacuuming, doing laundry, or just general cleaning around the house found its way into your daily routine? Back in the office, this becomes more challenging, but don’t despair – it simply requires more planning and time management. Make a schedule for cleaning, maybe they can still be part of your routine on days that you continue to work from home.
Replace your midday walk around the neighborhood with one around your workplace’s neighborhood. Or float the idea to your walking buddies of moving it to a sunrise or sunset walk. It’s important to maintain or even expand your physical activity as you navigate a new routine to make sure you stay healthy.
While a move back to the office may feel overwhelming, we are confident you’ll be able to manage it. These six tips come from our experience in planning for and starting to transition back into the physical workplace ourselves. Planning your work, and working your plan will dramatically help you tackle each day’s projects and tasks. We have plenty of organizers that can help with this planning.