Strategies for easing back into the physical workplace


Ilze du Preez

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As restrictions ease, there are many aspects of life returning to normal or at least a reinvented normal, and work will be no exception. And although there are some people who can’t wait to get back to the office, the transition back into the physical workplace may bring with it some degree of apprehension and disruption. These tips may help you transition out of isolation and back into your physical workplace.

  1. Maintain those positive habits you’ve picked up in iso
    Isolation has no doubt been difficult in many respects however, there have been some unforeseen silver linings that have come with it. With increased flexibility and more free time, many of us have picked up new skills, hobbies or reignited old passions. This could include cooking, meditating, yoga, reading, painting, a newfound love for jigsaws or colouring-in. Whatever it is that has kept you sane, engrossed and engaged, stick with it!

    No doubt you will lose some time to carry-out these new (or old) hobbies but don’t abandon these habits, as most of these build mental fitness, or if anything, they may have put what’s important to you into perspective! So try not to lose that as your ease back into your ‘old life’.

  2. Draw a hard and fast line between work and home, if you can
    Another silver lining will be creating a literal barrier between work and home. No doubt a lot of you have been working longer hours that you usually would but it’s important that you associate your home with your personal life and your place of work for, well, work. Not only will this help with productivity and job satisfaction it will reduce the likelihood of burnout.

  3. Keep up good hygiene
    I know you’ve heard it time and time again, but wash your hands, don’t touch your face, sneeze into your elbow and don’t go into work if you’re even feeling the slightest bit unwell. You may have to adhere to new policies, procedures especially in areas like communal kitchens and meeting rooms. Embrace them, they’re only there for your safety and likely, temporary measures.

  4. Celebrate the opportunity to reconnect
    Don’t get me wrong, there have been perks to working from home, such as gaining your commute time and avoiding those peak hour crowds all together! However, there is a lot we have taken for granted such as those morning coffee runs with colleagues or staff drinks after a long week (that aren’t over Skype)! Even the ability to ask a quick question over a desk partition has been dearly missed (#deathbymeetings am I right?). So, when you return to the office, or your respective place of work, enjoy and be grateful for these interactions that have been absent over the last few months. Take the time to have some face-to-face time with your colleagues and go and visit your favourite barista, just like you use to do. These small steps can help really help build some sort of normality back into your life.

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