After working from home for an extended period, we slowly return to the office and have a more ordinary workday. It can be a significant upheaval, similar to when you were sent home at first. But unlike then, this time you can prepare and plan.
It can be a bit overwhelming to have to go back to the office. Now we had just gotten used to working from home. Maybe you even had a solid office set up to work from home that you in an ergonomically sweet spot? All of a sudden, things change - and you are going back to the old office.
Also read: Back in the office: Expectations vs reality
Back to the office and a new normal
If you are nervous about returning to work after a long time of working from home, you are most likely not alone. Studies show that we generally enjoy it. For example, The Danish trade union Djoef has surveyed their members, where a majority state claimed that they would like to have more days of working from home when they return to the office.
This means that the future work does not have to be either/or, but you have a hybrid workplace model. That is why you must talk to your manager about how your everyday life should be put together so that you return to work in the best possible fashion.
Get good habits from the start when you get back to the office
To return well to the office, you must make a plan together with your manager. It makes it easier not to fall back into old, bad habits while at the same time getting your work expectations aligned.
To get everything done, many of us tend to overwork when we are in the office. Instead of making that mistake, talk to your manager and possibly your colleagues about how to prioritise it, so you avoid drowning in work.
Once you can prioritise, it is easier to set a framework for your workday, so you do not start working too much and overextend yourself. That way, you can also enjoy it when you have free time and not have a bad conscience over what you did not achieve.
Good habits can be learned from our time working from home. Perhaps online meetings have worked better in some aspects, as they could be kept short. Perhaps some meetings have proved excessive. And maybe you have learned some brand new things about how to work best yourself.
Try and search in your own experiences, what has been working for you, when you were sitting at home, and then implement it at your office.
Good ergonomics is also a good habit
We were all quickly thrown into working from home. Most of us have been sitting in poor working environments such as the kitchen, living room, or children's room. These are not exactly ergonomically designed for work.
At the same time, it has probably also been harder to remember that ergonomics is not just about having the right office chair at the right height. It is also about what else you do with your body.
Therefore, it is a welcome opportunity to get started on good habits of variety and breaks when you return to the office. You should remember to change your working position several times during the day and take short breaks. You can use them to get moving a little and talk to your colleagues, who also need to remember solid ergonomic habits.
By incorporating good habits when you return to work, you can make them work at home more efficiently.
Be a good colleague
At home, you only have to relate to yourself as a colleague. Now, you have to connect with colleagues again. In the real world, not just virtually. It can be challenging, both for you and all your colleagues.
This is entirely normal, and you can get through this transformation by being extra good to your colleagues. Simply overdo it.
Be tolerant and flexible and help each other get a strong start. Accept that the mood and energy will fluctuate and that this means that the work effort may not have been as before previously.
If you stick to those elements, your return should probably go well.