Updated: Jun 26, 2021
While the employers are busy working out ways to bring employees back to work after COVID. Employees are still not very sure about this!!
Let me just start by stating the obvious that, the news of going back to work in 2021 has not been very well received, globally!!
From having no idea about what does working remotely means to now hoping for work from home to get permanent, people have finally accepted the new normal.
But as the news of getting back to work soon is gaining momentum, numerous articles talking about how a majority of employees are ready to quit from jobs if the employer isn’t ready to accommodate flexible timings, are emerging on the web.
Having worked from home for more than a year, it's obvious that employees will have mixed feelings about going back to the office.
But not everyone can afford to start quitting jobs if the management is not providing work-from-home opportunities.
Also, individuals who are willing to go back to work are holding themselves back as they are clueless about, how work life will change after COVID, what to expect when returning back to work after COVID, how to adapt to returning to the office after having worked from home for a long time.
So, my friend if you are looking for a return to the office after the COVID plan, this is it.
Your return to office after COVID checklist to help you feel better about getting back to the office-
The lack of acceptance is the root cause and being in a state of denial is never good. To put it simply, you have had this coming for a while now, and I understand that the thought of leaving your comfort zone now looks pretty scary. But we all know that life begins where the comfort zone ends. You need to accept the fact that this was long due and focus on the many benefits that returning to office has to offer. Working from home is good but working from the office has its perks.
2. Make a list of pros-
I know you are in love with jobs that let you work from home, but going back to the office isn’t all that bad. Memories of the good times at the office have now faded away, but you can revive them by consciously reminding yourself of those moments. The heartwarming chats with colleagues turned friends over coffee or tea, the impact that teamwork makes in your deliverables. Don’t we all know that face-to-face always trumps a zoom call any day? Look at this as your chance to recreate those fun memories with your office besties and get back in the groove.
A day before making a detailed list of all the benefits of going back to work and returning to the office, covering even the minutest details. Things like-
• the aroma of the steaming hot tea as you enter your office café
• morning greetings from the cheerful security guards
• finally getting a chance to have a normal in-person conversation while maintaining social distancing, instead of zoom calls
• finally stop worrying about how your background looks or if you are on mute or not
• kissing goodbye to the constant but unavoidable interruptions by kids and family members leading to embarrassment and delays
• getting back to your office space to get more done during the work hours
• getting some time to chill with your colleagues cum friends and release some stress
3. A piece from the home office-
All of you must be having an in-home office set up. A place inside the four walls of your home that had started to feel like your work zone? Now that you are returning to the office after COVID 19. To make yourself feel at home and not miss it so much, I recommend you get something to your workplace from your “home office”. It can be either the cute little succulent or the printed copy of a motivational quote that kept you company while working from home.
This is just a small gesture of self-care that will help you feel closer or connected to your home office set up till the time you fall back in love with your conventional office routine!
4. Take it easy initially-
It's normal to feel all kinds of emotions and anxiety while getting back to the office after having worked from home for more than a year. You might-
• Feel Anxious
• Feel Lost and dislocated
• Feel like forced to do something you didn’t want to, and above all
• Miss the comfort of your homes and course working in loungewear
So, take it easy for the first few days to help yourself settle mentally and physically in the not-so-new but new setup. If you feel up for it, talk to your friends and colleagues about your mindset and concerns, knowing that you are not alone will help.
5. Consider the boom in your productivity chart-
This is not news that your productivity did take a dip while working from home. We all try to sneak in a chore or two between work hours, kids need attention too, you can’t always lock yourself up inside a room from 9-5, all of which leads to you working late nights, in case there is a deadline to be met
Well, this in most cases can be avoided if you work from the office. You can be more productive, as you will have a dedicated, functional space and not a makeshift workspace that will be free from distractions. You can troubleshoot immediately, communicate effectively without having to wait for that reply to your email from a colleague. You can get a lot more done in the stipulated working hours.
6. Get a routine back into your lifestyle-
We all know the reality when it comes to our routines while working from home. The absolute necessary gets done while the other tasks wait to be cleared from the to-do lists. Getting out of the loungewear seems like a task, consider this as an amazing opportunity to get your daily routine and life back on track. A routine will bring more efficiency and productivity as a bonus and you will end up feeling more charged up and less lethargic.
Work from home Vs Work from the office is a debate that’s not dying anytime soon, but what you need to consider is that work from home is a lot more difficult to manage in comparison to working from offices. You get to maintain the line between work and personal life which now looks like a blur.
Make sure you commute with safety and practice social distancing at all times, use your masks, and sanitize frequently.
Man is a social animal and while working from home we hardly get to socialize, zoom calls can never replace in-person conversations.
Also on days when you lose the motivation to work while being at home, it is very difficult to get your mojo back as you don’t have your work buddies around to pep you up.
Work from home comes with its own sets of distractions that are present and can’t be avoided. With the lack of a dedicated space to work, you experience a dip in your productivity and end up doing the bare minimum to stay afloat.
To feel the vibe and the drive being in a space dedicated for the same is essential. You must have known by now that what you used to do from the office you can’t do from home.