Though it seems impossible, we have somehow lived in a different world for a year now. In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic began to sweep the United States and what we thought would be a couple quick weeks of quarantine quickly turned into days, then months, and now a year.
One of the biggest areas that was affected by the pandemic was the workforce. While essential workers in stores and medical areas kept pushing through, many office dynamics changed drastically. Employees were asked to work remotely for what they thought would be a short period of time, and some never returned or recovered from their new remote positions. However, now that there is a semi-steady rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine and people have been following recommended health and safety guidelines, some offices are ready to open back up for in-person work. According to a survey conducted by Zenefits, only 39% of employees said that they would enjoy returning to the office post-pandemic. A great deal of that can be attributed to the stress of the year as well as the newfound convenience that comes with the option to work from home.
Is it your time to return to the office? Here are three simple tips to get you prepared for transitioning back to in-person work:
If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it is that it has disrupted the way we work. Before your return to the office, stay in touch with your employer to be informed of the measures they are taking to reopen. Communicate with your coworkers as much as you can as well so that it’s easier to remain socially distanced in the office and prevent the spread of the virus.
Maintain digital cleanliness.
Weeks or months of working remotely most likely come with a large digital trail. Between the countless software downloads, communication apps and less-than-productive features, especially if performed on a work computer at home, there is a decent chance of malware hitting your company’s network. Clean up your digital mess before returning to the office.
Be compassionate with yourself and others.
This adjustment is going to be tough for everyone, just like the entire past year has. It’s likely that your mental health has taken a hit and try to think about others who may be in the same situation as you, if not worse. Give each other grace and practice a great deal of patience during this transition.
While these tips aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to returning to work, they are important factors to consider to make it as smooth as possible. Take a few deep breaths before you first day back at the office and invite some coworkers out to celebrate after the week (while following recommended health guidelines, of course)!