After over a year of living in lockdown, we are finally returning back to our pre-pandemic routines and a huge part of that is going back to the office. If you're anything like us, you've probably gotten used to the casual work-from-home dress code and the convenience of being in your own space. To make the back to work process less daunting, we've gathered 5 useful tips to help you survive the transition back to the office.
1. Get into a routine
Creating a routine will help your body adjust to the early mornings. The routine starts from the night before - prep your outfit for work and get your lunch packed so you have less to worry about in the morning. Make sure you carve out adequate time to sleep, you'll likely need more sleep than you did during the pandemic as you'll be more active throughout the day. Also ensure you start your work days right, perhaps with prayer or meditation as you prepare for human interactions.
2. Opt for flexible working
Working from home has major financial and time benefits. From saving money you'd usually spend on transport and lunch to saving time getting to work and the unavoidable distractions that come with working in an office. Bearing in mind these benefits, your employer may be open to you continuing to work remotely - at least for a few days in the week. By opting for a flexible arrangement, it will allow you to have those important face-to-face interactions with your colleagues without being interrupted by unnecessary meetings that could easily be an email.
3. Protect yourself
The ultimate reason we began working from home was to limit the spread of the virus and as we return, you may still be anxious about it. Protect yourself by booking your vaccine when you become eligible and in the meantime make sure you wipe down your work surfaces, wear a comfortable mask in common spaces and get tested regularly.
4. Take regular breaks
While in the office, schedule regular breaks. Socialising can be mentally and physically draining, especially after an entire year of limited face to face engagements and particularly if you're an introvert; so go easy on yourself. Don't put any pressure on yourself to be "social" because we are out of lockdown.
5. Enjoy the process
At some point during the pandemic, you missed seeing people face-to-face so enjoy the process. Indulge in those water cooler chats with your favourite colleagues, catch up on what people have been up to and get up to date with the office goss.
We hope these tips help make your transition back to the office much more enjoyable. If you find them useful, share them with a friend. Happy working!
Written by: Ronke Jane Adelakun
Ronke Jane is the co-founder and creative director of Cultureville. In addition to her roles at Cultureville, she is a writer, photographer and digital content creator with a passion for providing greater representation for Black women.