After a prolonged COVID-induced absence from the office, workers are gradually returning to their offices. Some may be eager to get back into the swing of things and pick up where they left off; for others, there might be anxiety and fear about returning to the office after being away for so long. Regardless of how workers feel about going back to the office after COVID, there may still be concern about how to stay safe at work. Keep reading to see the checklist we have created for your return to the office!
Returning to Work After Coronavirus
Many companies are preparing their office spaces for employees to re-enter after COVID-19. There's definitely a lot of work ahead but, as an employee, how ready are you mentally and physically to go back into the formal workspace after the COVID-19 hiatus? Reopening offices after COVID-19 can be a daunting task. Keeping your health and safety in mind, you should definitely prepare in advance for the return. It's not just about getting back into the swing of things; it is also important that you take care of yourself.
Your Checklist Before Going Back to the Office
Are you considering going back, even for just a few days per week? COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out and we are containing the virus a lot more effectively – but you should continue to be vigilant and prioritize your health and wellbeing above all else. Here is a checklist of things to consider before going back to the office.
Avoid Large Crowds During Your Commute
There's no way to avoid crowds on public transport, but there are some things you can do. One of the key concerns for those heading back to work is public transport hubs and overcrowding that could spread COVID-19 further, or even just spike people’s anxieties. If possible, try to stagger your working hours to non-rush hour times and speak openly with your employer about your concerns. If this is not possible, consider walking instead - not only does this help avoids congestion around them (saving time) but also contributes towards your fitness regime if done on regular basis!
Safeguard Your Hygiene
Safeguarding your hygiene is important in any situation. Pandemic or not, it's a good idea to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth throughout the day if possible. Consider carrying anti-bacterial gel with you as well for extra protection from germs that may be floating around workplaces.
Maintain Appropriate Social Distancing at Work
Although guidelines are continuously changing in every country, you may still have to socially distance yourself from coworkers for the foreseeable future. Maintaining social distancing measures in the office can be difficult. Your employer should take charge by finding ways to keep employees apart such as widely spaced desks or screens between desks. Also, social distancing is necessary in shared areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and canteens. Max capacity signs should be outlined clearly throughout your office, and you should keep your mask on in communal areas.
Try On Your Work Clothes
Planning your work clothes can be stressful, especially if you have an office dress code. It's essential to plan ahead and make sure that all of the outfits fit well before going back to the office. You may have gotten used to wearing t-shirts, pajamas, and comfy clothing at home. Now is the time for planning ahead! Try out those suits or button-up shirts so that when it's the first day back, you're not stuck with a shirt too tight around your chest or a dress that’s too big. Failing to plan is planning to fail, as they say!
Consider New Ways of Working
Working from home has had a major impact on how we work. We have discovered new ways to collaborate virtually, which may likely continue when we return to the office. This could potentially lead to improvements in our workflow and communication methods as well! If your company hasn’t considered this before, why not suggest virtual meetings instead of face-to-face ones? They are more convenient for most people's lifestyle nowadays; you get all the benefits of working with colleagues that may result in more efficient and quicker meetings, and for the foreseeable future alleviate any COVID-19 concerns!
Get Back into a Routine
As you prepare to return to the office, if you’re not already in a routine similar to your office routine, your work-from-home schedule should change sooner rather than later. You may wake up late as you no longer have a morning commute, and give yourself little time to get ready before you start your working day. But that is about to change if you return to the office! Get back into the usual routine before the pandemic – set alarms to wake early, shower, make breakfast and get dressed. You’ll thank yourself when you’re back in the office and not absolutely exhausted or rushed off your feet!
Upgrade Your Furniture
Implement a standing desk into your home and office setting to introduce more activity as you work, improving both your productivity and motivation. It also helps to burn more calories and reduces stress on your lower back! They further reduce your risk of other health problems like diabetes or heart disease with continued, regular use. It’s another great way to prepare for the return to work after COVID-19, as you continue to take care of your health and avoid sitting at your desk in a sedentary position all day. We offer four varieties of standing desks, from affordable choices to premium L-shaped and V-shaped styles. If you want to introduce something like that into your workspace, why not check them out?
Returning to work is a time of mixed emotions for everyone. But with this simple checklist to start you off, you can help keep your sanity and safety intact. Making sure that we have a routine in our lives can be helpful during this transitional period, and you should keep an open mind about this post-pandemic world we’re about to enter. The ultimate goal is to return safely back to work and either improve or maintain your productivity during this transition – safe, and stay productive!