Culture & Branding | 7Min Read

The Do's and Don'ts of Getting Back Into the Office

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What Have We Covered?

Companies are now calling back their employees since the world is slowly going back to normal. 

If you feel worried about getting back to work, don't fret. Going back to the office after a long time can be exciting and terrifying. Whether you'll work from home or a remote office, office productivity is vital in retaining your job. Also, utilizing several tools and staying disciplined will help you improve productivity in the office.

safe work place

Tips for Enjoyable Return to Office

When getting back into the office, set your priorities right, have a new schedule, encourage teamwork and be transparent. To find your feet quickly, call your colleagues and get updates on the work in progress. Also, improve your skills while away and be open-minded.

That's not all. You need to ensure you are fit health-wise, updated with the current projects, and open-minded. This article discusses these and other dos and don'ts in detail.

Read on!

Get updated

You've been away, so it's natural to need to get up to speed with projects that are in motion. You also need to get ready for the new challenges that come with new projects. So, get in touch with your co-workers and ask them about the current tasks.

Contact your customers and stakeholders to inform them you'll be back in the office, too. Reconnecting with clients eases the anxiety of getting back into the office. Before you know it, you'll be yearning for that day, your moods will be high, and your office worker productivity will be excellent, too.

Adjust your sleep schedule

Whether you're home due to the pandemic or it was ordinary leave, your sleeping schedule may have changed. When your office is your spare room or living room, it was okay to sleep and wake up late and still enjoy good working from home productivity. Not anymore!

So, adjust your sleeping schedule. Sleep early to wake up early without straining. To ensure you get sufficient rest, sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours. 

Enough sleep is equivalent to high productivity, helps minimize stress, and makes you healthier.

Improve your skills

While away from the office, you may have had time to reflect on your current skill set. Now is an ideal time to build on it as managers look for employees who are well informed and versatile to boost their ROI.

You know your current strengths and weaknesses, so use this knowledge to work on key areas of improvement. Learn a skill or enroll in a course that can sharpen your skills. For example, learn how to use different office productivity tools.

Consult the workforce

A recent survey by BBC shows that most employers are opting to have their staff work from home at least 2 to 3 days each week, even now that offices are reopening.

BBC Survey

To do this, firms are transitioning to employee computer monitoring software. The software makes it possible for employers to monitor your work progress every day. 

You may have mastered productivity at home while working remotely using monitoring software. But being back in the office is no time to stop using technology. 

You can use office productivity software to keep track of your progress when returning to the office. For example, take note of the hours you're less productive and check if there are any distractions you need to get rid of.

Be open-minded

Be open-minded when going back to work. There could be new rules as well as projects that require more time. You may even find yourself working under a new boss in the office. Always be open-minded and willing to work with everyone to achieve the company's goals.

Get to know if there are any new roles or projects that you can provide extra support on. And where you need help, don't hesitate to ask for it. If it is an extension, ask for it!

Encourage teamwork

Teamwork is necessary as it helps deliver the required services on time. Therefore, get in touch with your workmates and plan on how you're going to reignite the teamwork that came naturally when you used to be in the office together.

Share responsibilities and ensure you have all that is necessary for each task. 

Make your working environment a better place by creating a schedule that allows all of you to work together in the office. Have a clear schedule for when certain employees are in the office and plan face-to-face tasks during this time.

Both introverts and extroverts desire to connect with others once in a while. Not only does it make it easy to work but also improves your working relations.

7 Best Practices for Effective Team Building

Be transparent

Transparency when working with others is necessary. 

In some cases, after reporting back to work, staff may take a little longer to adjust. And, along the way, they may forget to perform all their duties. 

Transparency creates a conducive working environment. Let those working around you know where they're going wrong and give them time to correct their mistakes.

The balance between the office and home

Attaining office/home balance means that your life is not getting in the way of your work and your work doesn't stop you from having a life.

Finding this balance will be under renewed stress now that you are returning to the office. So, be sure to put extra effort into maintaining a balance, while still delivering on all expectations at work.

Consider things like not checking email after a certain time, switch your phone off at least an hour before bed, and leave the office at a reasonable time.

Learn to manage anxiety

It's only natural that returning to the office may be accompanied by some anxious feelings. So, it's important to learn to identify and manage potential anxiety.

First of all, anxiety quickens your breathing. So, learn how to relax when you feel anxious. For example, you take a deep breath, take some water, or listen to some music. 

If you have a good work relationship with your boss, tell them what you feel and why you feel that way. They may be willing to help.

Don't expect immediate changes

When getting back to the office, some people hope to get better pay or promotion as part of their next career step.

Unfortunately, your plans may differ from those of the company as the focus is on regrouping after the disruption of the pandemic. 

Therefore it's best, for the short-term anyway, to focus on reestablishing consistent work back in the office and biding your team as your company regains its pre-COVID momentum .

Once everything gets back into a familiar flow, then the opportunity to take that next step will again arise.

Reestablish KPIs

KPIs are central to success. While they may have been clearly front of mind pre-pandemic, it's not surprising if they may have become less clear-cut in the shift to working from home.

Or, perhaps the shift to remote work has changed your team's priorities altogether.

Either way, returning to the office is a great time to revisit and reestablish your KPIs. The experience of the past year or two may bring with it a fresh way of thinking for driving the future of your team.


Reestablish KPIs

Conduct thorough risk assessment

The pandemic has caused justifiable uncertainty among workers and employers. While going back into the office may be something to look forward to, caring about your health is equally important.

So, carry out a rigorous assessment of the working conditions. Know what you need to do to stay safe in the working environment.

As a leader, set suitable safety precautions and conduct a third party risk assessment to ensure that your staff is safe and comfortable while in the office.

It helps to ensure they're productive all the time.

Be kind to yourself

It's not easy getting back into the office, especially the first week. So don't be too hard on yourself.

It's okay to let management know that you're still trying to adjust. Take breaks when you can. Don't miss meals because you want to hit deadlines.

Also, leave the office when you should to avoid getting home late. That could equally affect your next day's working mood.

Seek clarification

There are many moving pieces when heading back into the office. So, if there is anything you are uncertain about, don't be afraid to seek out clarification from company leaders.

A full understanding of the steps for returning to the office, and what life will be like when everyone's back there, supports a smooth transition from home to office working. 

With this understanding, your mind will be ready, and you will be well placed to deliver on company expectations.

Get medical check-ups

You've been away from the office. You've socialized with so many people away from home. The first step, therefore, is to have a medical check-up.

To be sure you're safe and fit to work with others, get all the necessary medical check-ups before reporting back to the office. 

While it's not a requirement by most companies, it's necessary to have regular medical tests. When you do, it gives all involved peace of mind.

Avoid distractions

Most likely, your friends know that you've been away from the office for days or weeks.

As such, they call whenever they want to or send texts at any time.

Once you get back to the office, they'll likely keep on calling and sending you texts.

Send them a notification so that they can adjust calling and texting time. For example, only allow urgent calls from your loved ones.

Alternatively, have your mobile phone off when working or on silent mode so that it won't distract you when working.

Avoid distractions

So Be Ready to Get Back To Office!

Getting back into the office naturally comes with some trepidation. But by following the tips above, you can be best prepared. 

Remember, office life is likely to be different from what it used to be. So, be willing to learn and unlearn new things. Be prepared for change. Get ready to embrace a new way of working.

When you go in with this mindset, you'll be best prepared for a smooth and seamless transition back to office life.

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