For many of us, COVID-19 has changed the way we work. As restrictions ease, the government wants to encourage people to return to the office and businesses to reopen. Here are a few tips to prepare yourself, both mentally and physically, in getting back to the office.
Rehearse your routine the night before
To avoid the panic of being late at work, plan your route ahead by checking the bus/train schedules as these might have changed since lockdown. Try to meal prep your breakfast and lunch the night before and you will not be rushing in the morning. Iron your favourite office wear, polish your shoes, get ready your best-loved perfume and have a good sleep.
Reconnect with your colleagues
Start with a smile and chit chat with your colleagues to rebuild the bonding, for example, what you did during lockdown, perhaps you have started a new hobby or you have spent more time with family. Casual conversations with your colleagues could help to ease your stress and calm your nerves. Of course, some tea and sweet treats would always be nice. Don’t be shy to ask for peer support and talk to your employer if you have any difficulties adapting back to the workplace. Communication is key for your healthy mental wellbeing.
Make sure safety measures are in line with the government rules
Some of us are excited to be back in the office and seeing people but make sure safety measures are in place to prevent transmission. Keep your social distancing, clean frequently, wash your hands and minimise unnecessary visitors.
It’s okay to feel nervous
Remember it is okay to feel nervous and you are not the only one. Relieve your anxiety by giving yourself more time to adapt to the old usual routine and take more rest breaks if you need it. If you feel like home working is better for your mental and physical health, don’t be scared to discuss this with your employer and find a way that works for both of you.
Bring back what you have learnt from home working to the office
Review and reflect on what you have learnt while working from home, for example, your thoughts on using Zoom/Teams, attending virtual court hearings or dealing with procrastination. Don’t forget to share those funny moments when your kids/pets decided to crash your virtual meeting!
By Natalie Ming, Solicitor and Secretary of the Birmingham Solicitors’ Group