Can you believe it’s been over a year since the majority of workers, except those deemed essential, were sent home to work remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018 figures show only 8% of all employees worked from home at least one day a week. It’s now estimated that over 40% of workers are working remotely.
The immediate transition to working from home offered many challenges and wasn’t easy for employees engaging in remote work for the first time. Workers were forced to navigate unforeseen issues, such as insufficient home-office space; unstable or nonexistent internet connectivity; a lack of coworker interaction; disruption to daily routines; and the constant accessibility of the fridge, TV, and bed. Those who used to wrestle with daily commutes were now afforded the luxury of hitting the snooze button and rolling out of bed in just enough time to grab coffee before their morning meetings, which they could attend wearing pajamas. Over the past year, employees have learned to adapt and become more disciplined and efficient while working from home; some have even learned to take themselves off mute during a staff meeting! Many have improved home technology, fine-tuned home offices, and are now comfortable with the “new norm.” Some may say too comfortable. Employees may have forgotten working from home, although a necessity during the height of the pandemic, is, in reality, a privilege.
Time in the office helps workers stay motivated and creative. Being face-to-face with coworkers facilitates the development of new ideas; increases employee engagement; and provides human contact, which is beneficial for mental health. These are benefits employers haven’t forgotten. A recent Zenefits survey revealed 68% of employers are ending work-from-home policies and asking staff to head back into the office. If yours follows suit, you won’t have a choice.
Employees proclaiming, “But I like working from home!” should be prepared. Change is difficult so it’s critical to develop habits and routines to help navigate a return to the office. We recommend trying the tips below and starting a couple of weeks before you’re due back at work.
- “Go” to Work
Get back in the habit of getting up and getting ready for work. It may be helpful to go as far as making your regular commute to prepare your mind and body for the upcoming shift in daily routines.
- “Dress” to Impress
Set out office attire each night before bed to help mentally prepare yourself to wear something other than yoga pants.
- Divide and Conquer
Discuss household responsibilities with other members of your household and adjust accordingly.
- Reset Your Outlook
Focus on the positive factors of working in the office, such as social interaction with coworkers, getting involved in company culture, reclaiming separation between home and work life.
These tips can help make your transition back to the office less overwhelming, but what if you’re looking for a new position entirely? We can help! Search our job board for open positions or contact us to take the next step in your job search today.
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