You are going to transition from working from home to getting back to the office. Here are tips to make this transition easy.
- 1. Know that you are adaptable
Human beings are resilient and we can adapt to changing environmental conditions. We can work from home, from the office and anywhere in between. Our bodies and minds will adjust to changing circumstances and adaptability has been a key to our success. So, don’t worry and you will soon get used to your old circumstances.
2. Ease your transition and create a feeling that you are at home
Over the last 18 months, we have enjoyed the comforts of home, missed water cooler conversations, gossip, and frequent interruptions from annoying colleagues. So, how do we adjust to the comeback? Well, creating an ambience similar to your home office can help even though you will never be able to replace that. Use another study lamp, have a cozy sweater behind your chair, get soothing music you can listen to and of course bring some small paintings and memorabilia that will make you feel at home. And, remember that leg rest you had as it will be really useful and give you a feeling you are still there!
3. The dreaded commute is back but take it easy
Yes, the dreaded commute is back. I live in Houston and I can feel the discomfort of sitting in traffic and dealing with grumpy drivers! The average commute for me is around 45 minutes door to door and I listen to podcasts and audio books just to keep my mind away from the polluted, maddening traffic that can wear us all down. Just relax, occupy your mind with distractions like serene music, a comical podcast or learn something new.
4. You will miss the morning walk around the block
Yes, we will all miss the walk around the block and the opportunity to meet neighbors who you thought were dead and gone. You will miss the camaraderie of folks wishing you good morning, and instead will have to return to sullen-faced bosses and their antics. Know that they might have been transformed too and let’s hope that they return smiling to a new workplace.
5. Love thyself
Always, love thyself. There is no substitute for that and this a good time for us to recharge, and rethink our priorities in life. What is my purpose in life? What am I uniquely talented in? Should I just be answering calls and pushing files all my life? Opportunities are endless and if you love yourself you will find a career that is meaningful to you. Take care of your happiness, be a little self-centered and there is nothing wrong with it. Everything begins with loving oneself.
6. Are you a leader? Show empathy and overcommunicate.
If you are a leader, expect shock and awe. The days of running an office like the Mughal empire will no longer work because your underlings have learned a lot of new tricks staying at home over the last 18 months. Empathy and trust have become new key words replacing metrics and goals. So, just relax your suits, be a little bit more empathetic and throw your jelly bean counters over the window. Millennials are going to make you work differently and you will soon learn how to be human and efficient at the same time.
7. Some of us may never return and it’s okay
Life has been good for some of us working from home. We’ve reached that point of serenity that missing it is like not attaining nirvana after having been so close to it. If you’ve re-careered or decided to stop working full-time, it’s okay. Some of you may not miss the office at all. The choice between serenity and a sense of bewilderment is yours, after all!
8. The pandemic has not gone anywhere
Don’t think that the pandemic has gone anywhere. The virus might be clinging on to your cubicle, or floating around you, so just take all the safety precautions you can. And, offices will have lots of disinfectants and new measures to keep you safe.
9. The hybrid workplace is here to stay
The lone benefit of the pandemic has been the global ratification for a hybrid workplace. The old factory model of running organizations has been disrupted and despite the absence of Karl Marx, we’ve all started to unionize. We want to enrich our lives other than just being focused on work all the time. Well, the suits will make strategies to go back to the barking order days but they themselves have realized that its not possible. Employees are seeking newer ways to work and sprawling workplaces will need to reconfigure spaces to make things work.
The office as the center of the community and prime driver of tax revenue is dead.