It is inevitable – the world is returning to normal and employers are looking to have employees back in the office sooner rather than later. Some of us have adapted, or even thrived in the work-from-home landscape. Now that we are returning to an office setting with traffic, chatty co-workers, and pop-up hallway meetings, it’s more important than ever to heed these tips for staying recharged.
Update your calendar.
When you’re heading back to the office, more meetings will inevitably pop up on your calendar. Keeping your calendar open to view is ideal so coworkers can see when you have time to connect. It’s also going to keep you organized and sane to schedule some working time. Feel free to block off sections of your day to dedicate to working on projects.
Set boundaries when heading back to the office.
Setting boundaries for yourself and others around you will be one of the most key components to heading back to the office. A few simple tricks:
If someone is requesting a meeting that you don’t think is a high priority, ask a few questions first. Can the meeting be an email? Can we connect for 15 or 30 minutes instead of 1 hour? Is it necessary for you to be in it or can you have the follow-up notes? There are many meetings I’ve sat in to “know what’s going on.” If you aren’t leading the meeting or a key decision-maker, feel free to sit this one out.
Keep your lunch hour for you or doing something to reset your day. One of the biggest perks of working from home was enjoying your lunch. Cooking a quick meal, stepping outside, going on a quick walk. It was a total reset and easily something that can be wiped away in the daily hustle and bustle of the office. In the same breath of setting boundaries – you don’t have to go to every happy hour or company lunch that is presented to you. Save yourself the burnout of overstimulation when heading back to the office. Sure, it’s been a while since you’ve seen some people in the office, schedule out a few coffee mornings over the next few months instead.
Keep a similar schedule.
Speaking of keeping your lunch hour, try to keep a similar schedule to what you did at home. If you noticed (and liked) that you were interacting with your family by 5:30 pm instead of 7:30 pm, try to schedule the bulk of your meetings in the morning and dedicate work time to the afternoon so you don’t get caught up talking with people all afternoon. When you have meetings all day you don’t sit down until 4:30 pm and start working.
If you liked getting a morning run in before your zoom call at 9 am, try the opposite. Schedule your work time in the morning and ease into the afternoon meetings.
Whatever it was that you liked about working from home, try to copy it as you head back to work.
Ease into it.
Above all, ease into it. Hopefully, your employer is someone who is not expecting you to immediately go back to the way things were. The last 18 months have proven that employees can be flexible and efficient. Talk to your manager about what worked best for you and your family. Looking for more tips or advice? We are here to help.