Eventually, some day, in the not too distant future, society will be allowed to return to their regularly scheduled duties. This includes for many of us, going back to our physical workplace.
While it seems like an eternity since we’ve consumed the office coffee, or was in the same room with our colleagues, it’s only been a few months (maybe shorter, maybe longer).
A lot of people have been fortunate to work from home (WFH), so their income didn’t take as big of a hit as many people have had to endure.
Having experienced significant losses in my life (369 Days), I can relate to what too many people are experiencing. At times, I have thoughts about that time period of my life, and normally it doesn’t bother me. This time around when seeing people in long lines at food banks and the look of worry and stress in their eyes, it hurts. My hope is that things get better for all of us, and fast.
As for those that have been WFH, my guess is your workday routine has been different than it was when you had to commute into your job. Returning to that routine could be a significant shock to your physical and mental state, so here are some things you can start implementing now, to prevent a huge shock.
Quit wearing pajamas during the work day
I get it. You want to lounge and be comfortable. During my WFH days, I’m not typically wearing suits and ties, or button-up shirts. I’m usually in a t-shirt and jeans.
Unless PJs are your normal office attire, I HIGHLY recommend that you start wearing work-like clothing starting at least a week prior to returning to your workplace. Once you return, you won’t be as uncomfortable, clothing-wise.
Start waking up early again
We’ve seen the images on the Internet about people waking up 5 minutes before the team Zoom meeting. Unless your commute to work is 5 minutes, you need to get up at a certain time every workday to safely get to work on time. As with your work attire, it’s time to get back to your normal work routine, so you’re not a work zombie when you return to work.
Reflect on your time away
During this COVID-19 quarantine period, you might have picked up new routines and habits. You should reflect on this time to see if there are things that are beneficial to you (and what isn’t beneficial). If you added new self-care routines, reflect on how you will continue doing those routines when you are back to work. You want to make sure that if you’re doing something that makes you healthier, that you continue doing these things after COVID-19 is behind us.
You should also reflect on the work you do, and the organization you work for. During this WFH period (or if you were laid off for a bit, and now are going back), you should check with yourself and see if this is job that you want to do and/or a company you want to continue working for.
Yes, that’s a big question to ask yourself and you don’t want to take that question lightly. With whatever the economic situation in your area looks like, you don’t want to quit your job without rock-solid prospects for a new role.
Do your best to get back to your pre-COVID-19 routine sooner than later, so you can minimize the discomfort of going back to your routine, but also take this opportunity to reflect to see if a new routine would be better for you.