Getting Back to Work Post-pandemic – Know How!

June 20, 2022 By: Ashwathi Nayanar

Without discrimination, for three years the pandemic made us shut our doors to the world outside and without an option, we adjusted and adapted to what was the ‘New Normal’. The definite lines between office and home had blurred and most of us found ourselves handling calls, attending meetings, completing projects, and more, on the couch and in the comfort of our PJs. And just like that, most of us became pros in the art of balancing work and home life. Those who enjoy working surrounded by family, kids, pets, etc., find this sense of order and balance comforting.

For many, this lifestyle came as a blessing in disguise, but it hasn’t been easy for the rest to adapt.

However, most organizations are reopening their spaces where the Novel virus seems to have calmed down significantly. Though it is a welcome move for those raring to kick start their social life, the mere thought of leaving the comfort of working from home and returning to the office can make those people who had settled into their comfort zone, anxious and stressed. The feeling of losing the balance and restricting homely affairs and other activities to the weekend can be a transition that seems complicated and unnecessary. After all, work was getting delivered on time while working from home too, wasn’t it?

Well, it was, but the hard truth is that one day, most of us would eventually have to return to a working environment. Fortunately, as uneasiness and resistance to change is part of our existence, we have you covered and can help you get back on track with a few simple pointers.

  • Go a day early and drive around the office – As silly as it may sound, going a day early to look at your office premises helps you visualize yourself and your interactions in the office atmosphere. It mentally prepares you to dress and behave appropriately, helps you plan and carry essentials and set you up for the week ahead.
  • Push worn-out PJs to the back – Yes, that’s right. Give your wardrobe a makeover by replacing a few casual attires with comfortable workwear and accessories. The right outfit can make you feel professional, confident, and prepared.
  • Plan your routine – Practice sleeping and waking up at a fixed time. This can increase your productivity and help you manage your time and day better. Setting up and following a routine at least a week or two in advance is also a great way to get your mind and body to cope with the new structure and way of living.
  • Talk to people and yourself – Reach out to your family and friends and let them know how you feel. They may share their experiences with you that can give you a fresh perspective and make you feel confident and positive. Positive self-talk and giving yourself a pep talk by facing yourself in the mirror can also do wonders to boost your morale. And if that doesn’t help, don’t hesitate to consult a therapist/counselor for professional guidance.
  • Acknowledge – Accepting and acknowledging the way you feel about something can make it feel less monstrous. Allow yourself the time and space to adapt to a new environment. Social interactions can be awkward, overwhelming, and even exhausting, especially when we are emerging from a shell, but giving yourself the space can ease you into communicating better.
  • Speak to your employer – Discuss with your boss or other concerned authority the policies the organization has adopted to bring back its employees to work. Today, organizations understand the need for certain strategies to help employees with the transition and make them feel safe and comfortable. Knowing this will help you plan and decide your pace and frequency of coming to work and adapting to the environmental shift.

Setting an early alarm, re-adjusting your schedule, the commute to work, and the sudden interactions with a larger group of people can all be daunting and emotionally taxing. In that regard, working from home undoubtedly provides us the flexibility and comfort that is not easy to let go of.

However, a professional environment comes with its benefits. The ability to focus, hone one’s social skills, and establish firm connections can change for the better and your productivity automatically takes an upward turn. An office can also take you away from working in a silo and the loneliness that one may feel at home and draw a clearer line between office and home. It would also test your capability to evolve and adapt to changing times, dedication to work, and professionalism.

All said and done, people respond differently to transition and change. Keep the guilt-ridden feelings aside if you don’t feel enthusiastic just yet to go to the office. Remind yourself that it is okay to take your time to again get used to what was once ‘normal’. This will eventually become part of life, and everything will fall into place just like the way it should.

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