Across the country businesses have transitioned from the traditional office setting to at home work. With many states entering the down-curve of COVID-19 cases, many employees are returning back to the office but facing many new adjustments. Navigating these adjustments within a short amount of time has been can be difficult. With that in mind, here are a few tips and tricks on how to manage the transition from office work, working at home, and returning back to the office in a COVID-19 world.
Maintain a Routine
When you first began to work from home it felt confusing. Normal office culture was removed and it became difficult when to know work was “over” for the day. However, you got the hang of it and made your adjustments to working at home. Now, returning back to work has many feeling like they’re starting from square one again. Offices are practicing social distancing, in-person conferences are no more, sharing the office fridge or coffee maker may seem like a risk. One way to tackle these new changes and feel a sense of “normal” is to return to your routine to the best of your ability. While maintaining social distancing, give your office mates a call to check in. Go for a Starbucks run for your mid-day pick-me up to get a break from your computer screen and avoid the communal coffee maker. Adjusting your daily routine can take some time to get used to, but will help your daily functioning overall.
Manage Media Usage
When you were working from home, it was tempting to turn to your cell phone to scroll through social media or turn on the television for “background noise” during your workday. Not only can media turn into a distraction from your job, but you can also find yourself consuming more media than before. Think about it: if you came home from the office everyday and turned on the tv to relax, you were getting in a few hours of entertainment before going to sleep. If you find yourself turning the tv on first thing in the morning when you begin work, and continue to watch after you clock out, you’re never giving your brain a chance to “unplug” from the day! Going back to the office might be difficult when you don’t have the media present any longer. If you’re finding yourself missing out and unable to focus on your work, consider tuning into a podcast! Podcasts make great background noise to keep your mind active and engaged while you complete your office work.
Keep in Contact
When you were working from home, keeping in contact with your co-workers became limited to email’s and zoom calls. For those that were used to eating lunch together, or taking a coffee break together, working from home made many miss their in-person interactions with their coworkers. Returning to work where social distancing is present may feel strange. You can see your coworkers, but many employees may be encouraged to not venture to other offices to limit the possibility of spreading COVID-19. Working in this environment can feel like working at home in a sense and only communicating with your coworkers via email or zoom calls. It can be difficult but it’s important to maintain contact with your coworkers. Schedule a Zoom coffee break, conference call a coworker rather than shoot them an email, overall remain committed to keeping the relationships with your coworkers as we all adjust to this time.