Preparing for a return to the office
Many corporations and businesses are returning to normal operations. As a result, employees who had the luxury of working remotely, are being recalled to the office.
How to prepare
Undoubtedly, working from home during the past 18 months has caused you to adjust both your personal and professional lives. We were able to integrate various rituals into our workday through the convenience of being at home. Consequently, we must prepare ourselves mentally and physically for this transition back to the days of old.
You must first have a conversation with the members of your household to advise them of the impending change. Notify them that you will no longer be available as a source of transportation throughout the day. No longer will you have the ability to take a break and shuttle the kids to the store or a fast-food restaurant. Additionally, they should be informed that they will be responsible for finding meals on their own during the day.
Likewise, you should speak with your neighbors so that they will not be alarmed by your sudden disappearance during the day. Depending on your relationship with them, the mail person, UPS, FEDEX and Amazon drivers should also know that the packages are to be left on the doorstep, circa 2020. Your home security system will once again be the lone sentry responsible for the house.
Break the cycle
By now, you have probably changed your grocery shopping schedule. Going to the store during your lunch breaks will no longer be possible. Resist the temptation of running errands of convenience. Prepare yourself by shopping only on weekends or scheduled days off. This change in habit will help you to adjust back to normality.
Slowly wean yourself off those inherent naps during the day as these will once again be a past practice.
Another way that you can prepare yourself is by relocating all your work attire from the back to the front of the closet. More importantly, you should try on each outfit to see if it still fits after 18 months in storage. Do not wait until the first day of your return to find out your clothing no longer fits. Have each piece laundered if needed.
Another exercise that will assist you is to get fully dressed for work every morning as if you were going to the office. Ditch the t-shirts and pajamas for business wear.
Take a drive
Do you recall the days when you commuted to work? Integrate this habit to your daily life by simulating the drive. Leave the house every morning and take a trip that lasts as long as the ride to your place of employment, before returning home to work.
Do your homework
Find out from your employer what the current requirements are for being in-office. They may require that you be fully vaccinated or subject you to providing a negative Covid-19 test periodically. You should also familiarize yourself with adjustments made to your workspace.
Because of continuous social distancing, you should also inquire about spacing in cafeterias or lunchrooms. Eating times may have to be assigned.
Reclaim your life
Returning to the office means that you will not be tempted to log-on to your computer at ungodly hours. You will once again be able to separate your work and home existence. Totally disconnect yourself at the end of your work week. Resume your exercise and hobby routines. Reconnect with friends and family that you were too busy to spend time with.
How will you adjust?
Now that you are aware that working remotely is indeed possible, how will returning to the office change your life?
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