It’s safe to say that our working routine has been a bit different since March 2020. Returning to the office after lockdown and any long periods working from home might bring on feelings of nervousness and apprehension, but don’t worry, you’re not alone. We have put together our top tips for returning to the office.
Clarify the plan
If you are unsure whether you can go back to the office or in what capacity, speak to your line manager who will be able to clarify the return-to-work plan. If you are currently happy with the current working arrangement but it has not been confirmed as permanent, then it’s also a good idea to have that discussion with your line manager so you can clarify and confirm your working arrangements.
Make sure you feel safe
Your organisation should have carried out a health and safety review of the workplace to ensure it is now Covid secure and all new measures will be in place ready for your return to work. If you do feel unsafe when you return, you can contact your local authority, Citizens Advice or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who can check companies are following Covid rules.
Understand the process
A Returning to the Workplace toolkit has been created by the mental health charity Mind and the Society of Occupational Medicine, Acas and Business in the Community, which provides a wealth of information on returning to work. It is mainly aimed towards employers but if is also useful for employees who wish to have a more thorough understanding about the return-to-work process.
Plan your meetings
If you’re working from home and going to the office, try to utilise that time in the office with face-to-face meetings, room over Zoom every time!
Review your commute
Getting stuck in the same routine can sometimes mean that we don’t review our options. You may have been driving the same route, taking the same train or walking the same path every day pre-Covid, so try looking for a new route, perhaps it’s finally time to try that cycle route you’ve spotted on your way to work? If you’re dreading commuting to work again, there are plenty of great podcasts and audiobooks to make the journey more interesting.
You and your colleagues have lived through a global pandemic together, so you might find it helpful to reflect on the past year and talk about the events as a way to reconnect with those around you.
Map out your career path
We plan our holidays, house renovations, weekends and our Netflix watch list, so why not review and plan your career path? It might sound like an obvious suggestion, but we have found that mapping out your career is often overlooked. We’ve all had the typical interview questions ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ but have you ever asked yourself ‘have you achieved what you wanted to in the past five years?’. Take the time to evaluate if your current role is serving you, maybe it’s time to ask your line manager for a new challenge and diversify your skill set. To map out your career path, we would suggest deciding on where you want to be in the next five, ten, and fifteen years and how you’re going to get there.
Address the dress code
You might not be the only one feeling hesitant about giving up the loungewear for fitted clothes and heels. Check with your line manager if the dress code has changed or open the line of communication if you feel a more comfortable way of working could be an option.
Maintain your routine
If you’ve found a new routine that works for you since working from home, try and stick to it as much as possible. If you’re now going for a walk at lunch or making overnight oats for breakfast, try to maintain these good habits. Alternatively, if you’ve made some bad habits, this is the perfect opportunity to break them and start afresh.
Take it one day at a time
The past 16 months has been a rollercoaster of emotions for everyone, (shall we use the term ‘corona-coaster’ or shall we just leave that in 2020?) so check in on yourself, be kind to yourself and always speak to someone if you’re struggling.
Don’t forget, if you aren’t happy in your current role there are plenty of opportunities for growth in the job market right now. We have plenty of fantastic job roles in Accountancy and Finance, HR, Legal, Sales and Marketing, IT, and Business Support. Contact our expert recruitment team today and we can help review and update your CV and find your ideal new role.