It has been a long time since we have been at work and for a lot of people the idea of returning to work now that the lockdown measures are being lifted is one that brings concerns, anxieties and even fears. Let us look at some steps you can take to make the return to work seamless, as stress free as possible and look at the positive aspects of getting back to the office.
First and foremost, the most important thing you can do is open communication streams with both your managers and colleagues. Talk to the people that you are going to be working side by side with and start to make some plans together about how you are going to make the return enjoyable for you all. Some people will have hated working from home for so long and cannot wait to get back into the office environment, surrounded by their friends and colleagues.
Others however will have thoroughly enjoyed working from home and will not want to return to the office full time. It is important that the leaders in every company understand the pressures and fears that some people may be facing and help put steps into place to prioritise their health, well-being, and happiness. It is imperative to talk to managers if you are not comfortable with returning to the office, if they do not know, they cannot help.
One thing that you may feel is a priority for you is to ensure that your workspace is COVID safe. This is your employer’s responsibility to make sure that the office is clean, there are social distancing measures in place, there is enough space and fresh air circulating and that you feel secure and protected. You can also look at your journey to and from work and make any appropriate or possible adjustments to your travel times, planned route or choice of transport used. It is important for you and your company to be as open and honest as possible.
There are numerous ways in which the return to the office can be made easier, you could discuss with your manager about returning for a half day initially. This will give you an opportunity to test the waters as such, you may find that once you are there you remember how good it is to be around your work mates and that it makes you happy because you regain a sense of being involved and supported. It may be that your company can offer you the opportunity to work in a more flexible manner moving forward, working some days from home and some from the office. This will help to stagger a full return to work as and when you feel more confident and happier to do so.
One of the most powerful tools you can use is to focus on the positives of returning to work and give yourself time to remember all the great things that come with being in the office. The social connection, involvement, and general interaction you have when you are in the office is one of the greatest ways to lift your mood, enjoy the work you do and feel happier. It is those moments of laughter amongst colleagues that fill your day and bring you joy. Being able to pop out for lunch with a friend will improve your mood and productivity when you go back to work.
There are also many benefits of being out of the house in general, getting back into a routine of travelling to work will help to increase your step count which has been proven time and time again to help with happiness, weight control and mental well-being. It will increase your social interaction, even if it is something as small as a smile from a stranger in the street or a good morning from a passer-by, these small things help to improve your mood. In general, if you get more movement and fresh air you will gain a greater sense of a healthy work-life balance and increase the enjoyment in your day.
To find out more about how we can help you and your employees get in touch with us here.