More people than ever before have been working from home lately, and if you’re one of them and your boss has recently announced the reopening of your office, you might be concerned about the transition back. While switching into work-from-home mode may have been tough at first, it’s likely that at this point, you’re used to working in your pajamas all day and being able to grab snacks from the kitchen whenever you’d like. While going back to the office might seem like you’re in for a bit of a culture shock, there are some steps that can prepare you for the transition back in a healthy and realistically achievable way.
Vaccinate When You Can
With vaccines being distributed more widely every week, your chances of finding a vaccine appointment are increasing (if you haven’t already gotten one). But don’t look at being vaccinated as the cure for the past year. Whether you are vaccinated or not, doing simple things like wearing a mask when you are around people not from your household, using hand sanitizer frequently, observing social distancing, and more can help you safely return to the office even if you’re not vaccinated yet.
If you have specific fears or apprehensions about returning to the office, now is the time to be completely transparent with your employer. Many bosses seem intimidating but will work to be accommodating if you have genuine concerns, so try explaining your situation politely and keep communication lines as open as possible.
If Your Boss Allows It, Bring Along Some of the Comforts of Home
If your home can no longer be your office, why not transform your office with some of the comforts of home? You’ll need your boss’s approval, of course, to bring some items from home to work, but even just a handful of personalized touches can make your office space feel less formal and more like a comfortable bubble. These touches could include, but certainly are not limited to:
- Easy-to-care-for potted plants
- Mini single-serve coffee pots
- Chair cushions
- Family photos
Continue With a Routine Similar To Your WFH One
If you’ve settled into a new rhythm while working from home and found that it’s actually more efficient or effective for you than what you were doing at the office before, try sticking with that routine as much as possible to let its improvements continue. For example, if you used to dive right into work but now realize that you’re more efficient if you get your emails out of the way first thing in the morning, continue with your morning email check first. This can also help give you some continuity and make the transition back less jarring.
After potentially months of working from home and having your couch be your office space, a return to the formal settings of your old office can seem like a tough, even intimidating transition. You don’t need to set yourself up for total culture shock, though. By preparing now, you can easily get back into the office life without letting it overwhelm you or stress you out. Simply try these tips, and you can return to your old office with complete confidence.