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How to Plan a Safe Return to Work Post-Pandemic

Business group at table with masks

With restrictions beginning to lift in some countries, it may be time to start thinking about the transition back to the office. Whether you have been working from home, on furlough, or visiting a somewhat empty place of work, there will be something along the way that we all need to adjust to. Here, we discuss some ways to enable a positive transition back to the workplace.

5 Tips for Returning to the Office post-pandemic

Know what support is available to you

Although restrictions will be lifting, it's important to know the policies and procedures your company are putting in place before your big return. These guidelines are there to make workplaces as safe as possible and allow employees to return with confidence. Not only that but having the knowledge and understanding of these guidelines can increase your sense of control and help reduce any anxiety you may have. Knowledge is power.

Re-establish a routine

This step is easy to overlook but for many of us our routines have changed dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic. Getting back into the swing of things may take a little bit of work, but having a routine is a huge contributing factor to alleviating stress. Small daily habits such as waking up that little bit earlier, factoring in ample time for your commute and preparing your lunch the day before will all make for a smooth adjustment.

Communication

In times of vast change, we can find it difficult to voice our feelings but communication is key to a comfortable return. Speaking to someone that you trust can be the first step in helping navigate through any concerns and uncertainties you may have.

Focus on the positives

There are many reasons to be excited about returning to the workplace. After converting your living room to an office and only chatting with your team through a screen, actual face time with your colleagues, grabbing your favorite coffee on the way to work and separating your home and work life are just a few to mention.

Be kind to yourself and those around you

To get through the other side of a global pandemic is no small feat and so giving yourself time to adjust is more than acceptable. Some are raring to return to the office, whilst others may find the idea of this daunting. Treat your colleagues with kindness and patience and remember that everyone will deal with this process differently.

Taking care of your mental health

As we know, one of the key elements in returning to offices will be taking care of your mental wellbeing. Find out about any mental health services your organization may offer, consulting your doctor or another healthcare professional for help if you feel you need more support. There are also many resources you can find online that can offer additional help and advise with navigating through the transition out of lockdown. 

A hybrid model

For some employees, splitting time between working from home and at an office may be the best solution, at least at first. This hybrid model requires some thoughtful preparation. As Harvard Business Review states, "it will only give you the best of both worlds if you figure out how to combine home and office time in a way that maximizes your productivity and personal wellbeing.”

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