Getting back to work looks different today. For those headed back into workspaces, a new normal includes physical distancing, hygiene measures, regular testing, and other solutions that have yet to be decided upon for the foreseeable future. For those transitioning back to work, here are ways to ease the transition.
Consider appointment-based or flexible scheduling
Some people get their energy from working around other people, and some prefer the focus of working remotely on their own. Many people, however, prefer some combination of both work environments, and several workplaces are accommodating these scenarios. As an example, Core Creative is one agency that allows employees to make appointments to work in the office as an option. Discuss with your manager if a similar arrangement would help create an optimal return situation that doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing.
Familiarize yourself with recovery procedures
Organizations are creating checklists and routines for training and safety while bringing back their workforces. Familiarizing yourself may not only improve your outlook for returning, but it is also everyone’s responsibility to help keep their fellow colleagues safe. If your organizations spans different regions or countries, pay special attention to how relevant rules may differ and what applies to you.
Communicate any concerns
It’s normal to be anxious and have questions about returning to work. If you have concerns, make sure to bring those to your manager’s attention, as organizations have a duty to make their workforce feel reassured that health, safety and wellbeing come first when returning to the workplace. Take note of multiple feedback channels where you might be able to bring questions, which may include anonymous pulse surveys and HR reporting mechanisms. If you have issues you want to raise, chances are others need to know the same things.
Take care of your mental health
It’s not just your physical health that needs attention right now. Create a mental health checklist that asks questions such as: Can I deal with the demands of life? Do I ask for support when I need it? Recognize any warning signs of burn out or needing help, and talk with managers if you need help and support when you return.
Finally, remember that even this transition phase of returning to work will change. The phrase “new normal” has been used to describe this period. But the reality is there will be continual adjustments as businesses approach what was once considered “normal” workforce conditions.
That’s why adaptability needs to continue at each step of the next “temporary normal,” and be prepared for each new chapter to unfold. Stay flexible.