What will things be like when we go back to the office? After a year that disrupted the norms and had millions of people working from home, we’re finally starting to regain a sense of normalcy as people return to the office after COVID-19. However, after such major changes in our routines and environments, is heading back to the office as simple as we think?
For many, returning to the office after working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be a tough transition. Workers have gotten used to the comfort and convenience of their work-from-home setup, and it’s likely that they’ve developed new habits during their year away. So, as we return to the office, what are some ways to ensure a smooth transition from the comforts of home to the formality and routine of office life? Let’s go over some tips that will help ease that adjustment.
Start Preparing for Your New Routine Now
If you aren’t already back at the office, you have some time to slowly ease back into some of your pre-COVID routines. For instance, if you’ve been able to sleep in a bit while working from home, start setting your alarm for a bit earlier a few times a week so that your body and mind can start to adjust to a different wake-up call. Start some of the habits you may have dropped during COVID into your day, like getting fully dressed in work clothes, eating breakfast, and getting coffee before sitting down at your computer.
Keep Up With the At-Home Habits That Made You Happy
Working from home gave a lot of us the opportunity to add more relaxing activities to our workday. For some this meant taking more walks during the day, squeezing in a midday workout, or taking time to sit down for a nice lunch rather than eating at your desk. Take stock of some of the at-home habits you developed that improved your day and see if there are ways to implement them at the office. Schedule regular walks on your work calendar, invest in some compact, office-friendly workout equipment, make a point to get up and stretch regularly, and block out time to eat lunch away from your desk.
Comfort was another major benefit of working from home. Unfortunately, a return to the office likely means shedding your sweat pants and dusting off the business casual attire. We don’t have to say goodbye to everything luxurious, though. Make sure your office furniture is comfortable and inviting—things like ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks will help keep your body relaxed and free from back and neck pain.
Even though people are returning to work safely, we’re not fully out of the woods yet. It’s important to stay diligent about health and safety after your return to the office. Continue to wash your hands regularly, keep a healthy distance away from others, or use sneeze guards and barriers for crowded workspaces or when lots of face-to-face time is unavoidable. The abruptness with which many of us had to transition to working from home last year showed us it was possible to adjust to change and quickly create new habits and routines. Whether you’re back at work already or preparing to make that leap, don’t forget that you have the power to implement small, healthy changes to improve your workday.