What to expect when you return to the office, and what you can do to ease the adjustment

Back to work|July 30, 2020

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Back to work during Covid-19: What to expect, how to adjust.

Returning to work after the lockdown may result in feelings of confusion, worry, apprehension and for some, excitement. Lockdown has had a different effect on everyone with many beginning to worry about what the future may hold.

No doubt, your employer will be coming up with or already have in place a back to work plan to comply with government guidelines and to keep employees safe. This will undoubtedly result in you returning to a different style of work or office to the one you were at before lockdown.

Here at Qured, we understand the uncertainty and stress people may be feeling about going back into the office after such a long time, so we’ve compiled a list of things you can do that may ease this adjustment.

Plan and be prepared for your return to work

One of the most important aspects of returning to work is understanding what your company is doing to make this transition as safe as possible. Are you able to have a chat with your manager about this? Or have you already got some information on the changes? Once you have this information, take the time to read and understand it - will it cause changes to the way you normally go about your work? Understanding these implications before you encounter them may help calm any nerves about the changes meaning you won’t be thrown off when you first get back by things that need to be done differently.

The second important thing you can do is plan how you will get to the office. Maybe you have been given a different schedule to adhere to staggered working hours? If so, make sure you know the route you will take, whether this is public transport or walking/cycling to work. If you are beginning to cycle more with the attempt of reducing your exposure to the public, why not try cycling to work one weekend before you start back in the office so you understand the route better? If you are getting public transport make sure you have everything you need to keep yourself and others safe. This includes a face mask and hand sanitiser.

For some, a big benefit of going back into the office is the chance of talking with colleagues in a non-work capacity, think water cooler chats. Why not take the time to reach out to some of your work colleagues and see whether they are returning to the office as well? While you will have to keep a good social distance from them, you can still enjoy casual conversations to help break up your working day.

Talk and connect

Everyone will have encountered different experiences throughout the Covid-19 lockdown. You may be dealing with bereavement, feelings of being overwhelmed and isolated or you may have been unwell with the virus itself. All of these things may cause emotions and feelings that come to a head when you begin returning to the office. Now is the time to remember your managers and colleagues will want to help you with this, try organising a time to tell them about your feelings. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, try talking to someone outside of your work bubble, friends or family etc.

Take things one step at a time and take time to check in with yourself

It is likely that things will keep evolving as the situation changes. Adjustments will be made which means it is unlikely things will go back to normal for the foreseeable future. Because of this, the steps laid out above should be done regularly. Take time to review how things are going with your team and manager, if you are worried things are moving back to normal too quickly, speak to them about this. Trying to plan as much as possible will help your mental health, but be open to some plans changing.

Take time each day and week to check in with yourself. Ask yourself how you are feeling, how you are coping with the return to the office and put things in place to address these feelings. Are you feeling tired since resuming your commute? Maybe try to have calmer weekends to give your brain and body time to rest. Keep communicating with people and your support network. Try to address issues as and when they arise.

__Remember, everyone will be experiencing some level of concern surrounding the pandemic. Be kind to others and to yourself. __

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Written by Lauren MacEwan - Qured Business Development Team.

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