We have all had our lives turned upside during COVID-19 and businesses have been exactly the same. We’ve gone from 9-5, gym and having drinks on a Friday to being stuck inside with only your partners and kids to entertain you! Luckily I don’t have children so I can only imagine how hard its been for those of you that do!!
It’s been a strange one to say the least, you’ve got recruiters, sales, admin, and engineers all working in the same room. Who would have thought that- but we’ve all managed it and in most cases been very successful. And now what’s hanging over everyone’s heads now the lockdown is easing is going back to work in the office. We are anxious of breaking our new habits, the feeling we had about working from home is coming back but the opposite way.
It has become the ‘new normal’ for most businesses and employees. Zoom meetings and webinars have taken over events and meetings and casual Friday drinks have become virtual, and like I said before it’s scary the thought of going back to work in a 'normal' environment.
Here’s a few tips from me to help you on your return to work –it’s not as bad as you think -I’ve done it!
One of the main concerns about going back to work is the potential for crowds to congregate on public transport, which could result in a second wave of COVID-19.
Most employers will stagger the working day however, in practical terms, it’s very difficult to maintain social distancing on the train at 8:00am when everyone is going to work. If possible walk or cycle to work, we’ve seen a huge increase in physical activity over the lockdown period - why stop now!!
If you have no other option of getting to work go outside peak hours come into work a little early and leave earlier, remember employers know they have to adapt to the changes – things aren’t going to return to ‘normal’.
Face-to-face meetings with clients and partners aren’t likely to be seen for a while – the good news is you can keep wearing your casual bottoms and slippers for your zoom calls and meetings. If you are returning to the office try and find a quite work space as if you were having the meeting as normal, you'll get used to it quicker when we are allowed into other offices.
The office will be very different when you go back. Employer’s will be required to put safety measures in place to protect you and your colleagues, if you are still very anxious invest in your own little kit to keep you safe.
Wipe down your desk, keyboard, and monitor with an anti-bacterial wipe regularly. Ideally you should do this every time you leave and return to the building.
For many working from home will have been enjoyable, rewarding and they have seen an increase in productivity compared to working in the office. For others, it may have been isolating and very hard to stay motivated when the fridge is just around the corner! However, it has changed businesses and most companies will allow working from home - but what about the culture?
For most people culture is a huge part in their job and why they love working there. Being part of a team and being able to bounce ideas off one another, talk about your week and your troubles are vital to a successful workplace. There are so many positives and benefits to working alongside you colleagues in an office space be careful not to get caught up in working from home and loose your social side. Remember the good times you had before lockdown and you’ll soon adapt to working in the office again.
If you are still scared and anxious to return to work and the thought of getting on public transport is too scary then speak to your employer – remember they’ve been in the same boat! Most companies will adapt to new work environments and styles and companies such as Google and Facebook have already announced they will allow employees to work from home for the rest of 2020, It’s not all that bad though I promise!! Don’t forget this will pass and it will be something to say you’ve lived and worked though! Look after yourself and your families, don’t go to work if you feel ill and always wash your hands!