From planning your commute to making sure you haven’t forgotten your charger, returning to the workplace after working from home will take some adjustment. Here are a few tips to make your transition back into the office a little easier.

Reduce the Rush on Your Commute

Allow more time for your daily commute as more people return to the office – and public transport – with some COVID safety measures restricting numbers on public transport. At the office, restrictions on the number of people in lifts may also lead to boring queues in the lobby. These small delays can add up to make your travel time just that little bit slower, so adjust your routines and avoid packing your schedule too tightly, so you always have time to get where you’re going.

Ease Back Into the Office Environment

If you’d prefer to ease back into office life, see if you can negotiate to continue to work from home some of the time. Now that the remote working challenges have largely been solved, hybrid work is set to take over as the most popular workplace model in Australia as it improves workplace flexibility and reduces stress. Plus, having fewer employees in the office at once could make your employer’s COVID safety plan easier to achieve.

SEE ALSO: Ask an Expert: How SMEs Can Write a Work From Home Policy

Know Your Office’s COVID Safety Plan

Get familiar with your office’s COVID safety plan including office hygiene and social distancing.

When returning to the office, your employer should advise all staff about their COVID safety plan and the procedures you need to follow to ensure the safety of all staff. Make sure you understand your employer’s COVID safety plan, including any new measures to improve office hygiene and social distancing.

What To Try

Use Noise-Cancelling Headphones

After working in the peace and quiet of your home for many months, the hustle and bustle of the office may be noisier and more chaotic than you’re used to. Hang on to that quiet focus by investing in good-quality noise-cancelling headphones.

What To Try

SEE ALSO: What Are the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones?

BYO Reusable Cup and Water Bottle

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve all become accustomed to doing everything we can to avoid potentially spreading germs. If you’d prefer to avoid using the office’s communal kitchen supplies, why not buy yourself your own cup and water bottle and keep them on your desk? Using a reusable coffee cup for your daily caffeine hit at your office’s local cafe will also be kinder on the planet.

What To Try

(Re)establish Boundaries

Two of the best aspects of returning to the office after working from home  is reconnecting with colleagues in person and returning to pre-COVID working hours.

One downside of working from home is that work life and home life tend to blur into each other. Family might encroach on work during the day, and it can be harder to stop thinking about work in the evening when your workspace is at your kitchen table. Once you’re back in the office, it should be easier to focus on work during worktime and keep home for family time and rest. Aim to return to pre-COVID work hours, to ensure boundaries are made clear, and keep after-hours work communication limited.  

SEE ALSO: Clever Time Management Skills for Working From Home or Office

Reorganise Your Desk

This is the perfect opportunity to revisit your office workspace and desk layout, particularly as the way you work may have shifted considerably now that you’ve spent time working from home. If you’re used to a different screen height, get yourself a monitor riser or laptop stand. Now that you’ve gone digital, can you ditch the reference files and folders on your desk? Which devices and stationery do you need within easy reach?

What To Try

Be Kind to Yourself – And Others

When returning to the office after working from home, avoid putting any additional pressure on yourself or your colleagues.

Being home may feel safer and more comfortable for some, while others may be excited to get back to a busy office. Understanding that everyone is feeling differently about returning to the office will help make it a positive experience. Be kind to yourself as well as your colleagues, who may be finding coming back to the office a little stressful. Notably, there will be increased awareness to stay COVID safe in complex and busy spaces as you readjust the way you work, so try to avoid applying any unnecessary work pressures. The aim is to ensure your return to the office is a positive experience, not only for you but your colleagues as well.

SEE ALSO: 7 Ways to Double Your Productivity