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Returning to the Office? Here Are Some Tips for a Stress-Free Transition

As vaccination rates continue to rise and Covid-19 cases go down, almost all states are starting to open back up. This grand “reopening” means returning to many things we love, such as seeing family & friends, catching a sporting event, or back eating at our favorite local restaurants. However, one thing that people are not looking forward to is returning to the office full-time. No more mid-day walks or cuddle breaks with your dog. Instead of dreading this transition, read below on how to have a stress-free return to the office.

Brainstorm a New Routine
For some, it has been 15 months of working from home. Office routines from 2020 may now be outdated. This creates a rare opportunity to develop a completely different routine. There are, of course, the necessities to consider, such as time for breakfast & getting dressed, commuting, etc. But with so much flexibility given while working from home, it is time to think of new ways to start thinking of your daily routine. Do you prefer sleeping in and working later, or would you choose to get your work done early in the day so you can hit up the gym? Talk to your manager and brainstorm what flexible ways of working can continue once you return to the office.

“Dress Rehearsal” Your Routine
Once you have created your new routine, spend a few weeks practicing it while still working from home. Try to walk through every possible move by waking up at the designated time, getting dressed, and mimicking a commute (you can just treat yourself with a trip to Starbucks). This practice will allow you to make any necessary modifications to your routine and lower your stress when the time comes to start going back into the office.

Develop a Consistent Sleep Schedule
No doubt going back into the office will be tiring. With no more sleeping in or afternoon power naps, starting the day feeling recharged will be critical. To prepare for this, begin getting into a flow of a consistent schedule of 7-9 of sleep per night. When planning out your sleep time, keep in mind that you will probably need to wake up earlier to dress and commute.  Include this new schedule into your dress rehearsal in the weeks before coming back into the office so your body can adjust.

Block Off Time to Catch Up with Co-Workers
Chances are we have not had many real-life interactions with co-workers over the previous year. Meanwhile, virtual calls have been limited to mainly work-related topics.  During the first days back in the office, try blocking off time to have lunch or coffee with team members to catch up on their personal lives. Reconnecting with your team personally will make returning to the office much more enjoyable and starts rebuilding the team spirit.

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