As vaccines are rolling out and more people are receiving them, the time has come to go back into the office. Some of us have not stepped foot in the office in over a year, we have gotten used to working on our couches with the comfort of our own pantry two feet away. It’s no shock that offices will be different post-pandemic than they were pre-pandemic and it might be hard to think about working in the office again. Here are some things that will hopefully comfort you and make the transition easier.
Hit the refresh button
If you haven’t been into the office in over a year, chances are your desk is looking particularly sad. This is a perfect time to spruce it up a bit. Get a new plant and update your photos on your desk for a fresh start. Take some cleaning supplies with you on the first day to wipe everything down so your space feels clean and fresh. A clean work environment is better for your mental health and will make work more pleasant. Having a plant on your desk will help improve your mood, research indicates that plants help reduce stress levels at the office and increase productivity by 15%. Once you refresh your space, make sure you maintain it. Don’t let it fall back into disarray, clean often, and enjoy the space you work in.
Even though masks have been lowered, vaccines are here, and we are in the office, it’s ok to continue to practice social distancing. We have spent months being paranoid about social distancing. So, it’s not unusual that you don’t feel comfortable jumping right back into pre-covid socializing. Make your boundaries known in the office, and be respectful of others boundaries if you don’t wish to social distance anymore. If you need to keep social distancing, be prepared with what you will tell coworkers so they know to give you your space. People will not realize you are socially distancing. So, if they step into your space, it’s better to be prepared with a response.
Self Care is Here to Stay
Just because you are no longer working from home does not mean you need to stop your self-care habits. Taking care of your mental and physical health is more important than ever. Continue your exercise habits, meditations, healthy eating, and any other self-care practices you picked up during covid. It might help to sit down with your family and discuss schedules, carpools, childcare, etc. It was easy to know everyone’s schedules while working and schooling at home. Now, the kids are back in school/activities and you’re back in the office. There is nothing wrong with having your kids in fewer activities than they were pre-covid. Since you haven’t had your head in the game for a while, it will be a relief and save you time. Fewer extracurriculars, added child care, and carpools may just save your mental health as a parent.