As COVID-19 cases plummet and more people get vaccinated, companies increasingly require their employees to report back to the office. About half of the U.S. workforce was working from home at the height of the pandemic in 2020. If you’re one of those being called back to the office, the looming transition may come with a little apprehension.
You may shudder at the thought of going back to commuting to get to your workstation. The memory of hours spent in traffic won’t warm the cockles of most hearts. And having quick access to a stocked fridge and pantry and being able to whip yourself a meal whenever you please will now become a thing of the past.
You will also need to readjust to having your boss physically present and having to share your workspace with others. These adjustments can be overwhelming psychologically, physically, and financially. Here are some tips to help you cope.
- Better Safe Than Sorry
The world is now breathing a collective sigh of relief, hopeful that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Most governments have lifted restrictions on movement and interaction.
Even with the relaxation of these restrictions, the risk of getting infected still exists, even if you have been fully vaccinated and got your booster shot to boot.
You need to protect yourself as you head back into a high-interaction environment. Keep your mask on and keep your hands clean in the office. Tempting, as it may be, to shake hands, tick to fistbumps as much as you can.
- Better to See With
As you return to your desk, you need to ensure your eyes are also prepared for the experience. Unlike during the lockdown days when it was just you and your computer screen, the office will expose your eyes to various viewing experiences. In addition to your screen, you will need to readjust to looking at projected slides and whiteboards.
Having to focus on things at varying differences can put added strain on your eyes. To avoid this, you need to have glasses to help your eyes adjust accordingly. Given the variations in exposure to light outdoors, you will also need glasses that give your eyes adequate protection.
If you prefer a less conspicuous visual aid, you can go for acuvue vita contacts instead. This will add to your confidence and might be more comfortable than spectacle frames sitting across your nose.
- Reusable Bottles
When you return to the office you need to remember to stay hydrated. Most offices will have a water dispenser and disposable cups with which you can use. However, reusable bottles will assure you of fewer trips to the dispenser. A water bottle will help you keep tabs on the amount of water you take, ensuring you meet your daily quota.
- Stationery is Always a Good Idea
Remember back in your school days when you stashed your pencils and erasers in your backpack the night before the first day of school? Bringing your own stationery going back to the office is a good idea as it allows you to settle down to work quickly instead of scrambling around for the company-issued supplies.
- Bring Your Own Lunch
One of the perks appreciated most by remote workers is access to fresh, home-cooked meals. You don’t have to give this up as you return to your office. You can make a little extra of whatever you cook for supper every day to carry as your lunch. This way, you can control the quality and cost of your meals.
- Noise-cancelling Headphones For Office Chatter
As you leave the peace and quiet of your home office, you no longer have the promise of serenity you once enjoyed to execute your assignments. If your organization prefers the open-plan setup, there can be a few distractions. You can buy a pair of effective noise-canceling headphones to prevent other people’s conversations from breaking your concentration.
- An Ergonomic Desk is a Happy Desk
Many organizations endeavor to provide workers with a comfortable working environment to maximize their productivity. However, there is only so much an organization with a contingent of hundreds or even thousands of workers can do.
If your chair doesn’t provide enough support or your desk makes you stoop uncomfortably, don’t suffer in silence. Bring a cushion to prop your back or get a laptop stand to bring your computer up to the right height.
- Wet Wipes
In the spirit of not taking your protection for granted, you should keep a box of wet wipes handy as you get back into a high-risk environment. Use it to clean your workstation and chair, especially if you share it.
Get Productive, Stay Safe
Making moves that increase your productivity should be at the top of your mind in your office return. Ensure you’re comfortable and have all the essentials your need. You also need to keep yourself well protected from health risks.