The Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all in unimaginable ways. But whilst everyone will have faced their own challenges during this time, there are some lessons to be learned, particularly around the way we work.
With restrictions easing and offices reopening, many professionals are starting the transition back to on-site working. But, with the general success of remote working policies over the past two years, many companies are looking to enforce a hybrid model, allowing employees to split their time between the office and home. This may be new to many workers, and it’s important to understand the effect that this might have on your life, as well as any practical considerations.
So, if you’re heading back to the office part-time, here are three things you need to bear in mind to help with a smooth transition.
There is no ‘normal’
As we’ve all discovered, ‘normal’ looks a little different to each and every one of us at the moment. Going back to the traditional ways of working doesn’t necessarily mean you will fall back into your pre-pandemic routine without any adjustments whatsoever. For some, a return to the office will go hand-in-hand with attending post-work events or social activities once again. But if this doesn’t feel quite right just yet, then it’s important to take your return at your own pace, and only join in with what feels comfortable – even if these gatherings were a normal part of your old routine.
Everyone will have a different situation at home, and Covid-19 will continue to affect how many of us choose to live our lives, even with the removal of all restrictions across the country. Embrace this new normal, whilst also being compassionate about what others’ normal might look like.
Be organised with your time
In the height of the pandemic, many of us weren’t given a choice around where to work, with all of our professional duties typically being carried out in the same place. But with more people now being able to decide where they prefer to work, you will need to better organise your time for your own benefit and that of your colleagues.
Perhaps there are meetings on certain days that would benefit from the whole team being present at the office, or you need to do a presentation and the resources in the office will be more helpful for completing it. Having the opportunity to work in two different locations can be extremely beneficial, but it also requires you to be more organised to determine where will be best for you on which days.
It’s also useful to communicate this information with your team. Try and plan in advance as best you can through digital communication channels or via an office calendar to let colleagues know when you’re planning to be on-site.
Don’t neglect good habits from the pandemic
With so much doom and gloom around since the start of the pandemic, it’s easy to look back on those two years with complete negativity and pessimism. But when you break it down, chances are you adopted some new, healthy habits that you can take forward in your professional life.
Perhaps you replaced the unhealthy takeaway lunches with some nutritious home-cooked meals, or you were able to establish better boundaries with your colleagues. Though we may have less time on our hands as commutes return to daily routines, maintaining these good habits can help to ease the transition back to the office, and help us to be in a more positive frame of mind.