As lockdown measures begin to ease here in the UK, the idea of going back to some semblance of a new kind of “normality” may seem a little daunting.
For many of us, we'll soon be saying goodbye to our work-from-home set-ups, and heading back to our places of work. After three months of Zoom meetings in our pyjama bottoms, the idea of setting early alarms and having to wash our hair regularly again may be filling you with dread.
The best thing we can do to help us manage the change is to prepare.
Here are our top tips on how you can get ahead of the game, and be ready to face the “new normal” as we transition from working from home to going back to the office.
1. Rise and Shine
We’ve all been enjoying that extra hour or so of shut-eye in the morning. Working from home has meant that we haven’t had to commute (or get dressed!) which has given us that all important extra snooze time.
Get yourself used to getting up at your usual time again. A week or two before you’re due to go back to work, set your alarm for your usual, pre-lockdown time. Resist the temptation to snooze, get up, make the bed and get yourself ready.
This goes hand in hand with tip number 1.
You might have got used to lie ins, long lunches, not doing your hair and make-up. Haven’t we all.
Try getting into the habit of establishing a set routine again. Plan your days as though you were going to work. Get dressed, plan lunch, breaks, what time you’ll be getting your daily exercise.
Building a routine that works for you also helps to establish structure within your household, which can never be a bad thing.
3. Swot Up
Many of us have spent the majority of time at home, only venturing out for the big shop or daily exercise. The idea of a daily commute or spending the day in the office with colleagues in an environment we’re calling the “new normal” can be quite worrying for a lot of us. The best thing we can do is to go in prepared.
Read up on government guidelines and familiarise yourself with what the advice is. Stay up to date, and be sure to get your information from reputable sources, like the government website – not from a post that your friend Sharon shared on social media.
Most employers will have a COVID-19 risk assessment in place; don’t be afraid to ask to see a copy, and ask as many questions as you need to help you feel safe and comfortable about going back to work.
4. Plan Ahead
Be honest, when was the last time you got properly dressed for work? We’ve been so used to loungewear and comfies being our go-to attire, we’ve almost forgotten what socially acceptable work-wear is. It’s fine to be a little out of practise. Plan your outfit and lay it out the night before and it's one less thing to worry about in the morning.
Decide in advance what you're having for breakfast the next day. Are you taking a packed lunch to work? What do you need to take to work with you? Have you charged your phone and your laptop? Plan ahead in anyway you can so you're cool, calm, collected and ready to face the day as you head out of the door.