Making A Smooth Transition Back to the Office After Working From Home

Making the Transition …

COVID-19 restrictions have forced many people to work from home. Although it seemed almost impossible at first, many of us have been able to develop a healthy routine, thus becoming more productive than we initially were. Working from home (WFH) has made us realize how efficient we can be. One can use the 10- or 15-minutes break to attend to other things, including prepping dinner, loading the washing machine, wiping the bathroom, or even helping our spouses care for the children. This has made us more efficient than before. Nevertheless, with restrictions easing and being required to work from the office, some of us may find the transition quite challenging and uncomfortable.  Outlined below are a few tips and tricks on how to make the transition (to the office) smoother.

See If You Can Still Bring Work Home

Many employers have realized the need to maintain a healthy work/life balance with their employees. This is thanks to the employees who were able to work more efficiently and were even more productive while working from home. If you are among those that excelled working from home, you can then talk to your boss to see if you can do some of the work from home. Based on your past performance, the employer might offer to give it a try, or allow you to work from home, and only come to the office when required to. You will still have to stay safe from COVID-19 by practicing regular hand washing and other personal hygiene routines.

Re-Adjust Your Expectations

Working from the office isn’t and cannot be the same as working from home. While you might have been able to have daily lunch with your family, or could help do the dishes or laundry, these will be almost impossible when working from the office. You might only be able to enjoy lunch with your family during the weekends and holidays. That said, you might want to adjust your expectations to suit the new normal.

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Let Your Pets Re-adjust

Most people, as well as pets, had started settling in with the life of working from home. Having to report back to the workplace, however, means you won’t be spending as much time at home as you used to. Your pets will be among the first to notice this hence start developing separation anxiety. While you might want to return to the regular work schedules, it would be wiser to make a gradual transition to the same. One way to do this would be to go to the office for 2 days in a week, then increase the days as time goes by. Remember to walk your pet like you used to, even if it means walking him/her after dinner. Consider hiring a dog walker if these options are beyond your control.

Identify New Habits You Could Replicate at The Workplace

Some of the new habits you developed while working from home can be replicated in the workplace as well. All you need to do is identify them, as well as how you will be able to handle them. If you enjoyed a morning walk, for example, you might still be able to do so. Try parking your car at the farthest end of the parking lot. Doing your laundry during weekdays is one luxury many people will miss. You could, however, enjoy doing so by either doing the laundry early in the morning or late at night.  A better way to do it would be to set the washing machine to start 1 or 2 hours before waking up. This way, you can hang them to dry just before leaving the house. Just be sure to check the weather forecast before hanging them out to dry.

Create Time for Your Partner

The COVID-19 lock downs saw many people spend a good deal of time with their spouses and loved ones. Whether you enjoyed spending this time with your other half or not, the need to go back to work means you only get to see each other a few hours, 4 hours in a day if you are lucky. It would be wise to create time to spend and connect with your partner, even after the covid-19 lock downs. Although your favorite restaurant might not have opened its doors yet, creating a date night at home would provide a wonderful time to spend with those you love.

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Make Use of The Lessons (and Positive Habits) You Learned During the Lock down

The lock down has taught us many new things. Some picked up hobbies that turned out to be business opportunities, while others learned how to keep their home clutter-free and clean all day. Putting these into practice post lock downs will go a long way in making your life easier.

Don’t Stress Over What Is No Longer Possible

Many of us enjoyed doing simple chores, such as making the bed, doing the dishes, or even folding the clothes during those 15-minute breaks. While this was a welcome habit for many, having to go back to work means you won’t be able to do these again. It is for this reason you need to be realistic and accept what can be done, and what cannot during this time. Embrace the new normal with positivity to avoid falling into depression.

Remember Everything Has A Positive and Negative Side

Transitioning from work from home to working in the office can prove draining for some.  It can be even harder for those stuck in the comforts of working from home or calculating the cost of having to commute to the workplace. Getting stuck on the past will only drain you even more. Nonetheless, acknowledging the wonderful times you had while working at home, and embracing the new normal will only make things easier on your side. Learn to appreciate the positives and negatives that come with each situation. Remember working from the office has its perks too. Remember the ergonomic desk setup and comfortable chair in the office, as well as less few Teams meetings, and most importantly, the social events on Fridays after work.

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