Telecommuting is still mandatory for jobs that can be done from home. This situation seems to be set to last for a few more months. The return to the office is not for the moment, even less a return to full time.
Indeed, many employers will choose a method of hybrid work made of office and home work. The employees, after having tried it, seem to have adapted and got used to this comfort. Indeed, habits are taken such as napping or meditation. Companies will have to adapt to offer telework to all.
That said, returning to work, even on a part-time basis, may not be easy. So what are the challenges of getting back to normal?
Here are some tips for a smooth return to the office:
Telecommuting has taught us flexibility and time management. In telecommuting, you forget about the time spent in traffic, public transportation, walking to the office. You may have become accustomed (in spite of yourself) to working in your pajamas.
Or maybe you are one of those people who wake up in the morning ten minutes before a meeting. You have found a routine that allows you to start working late in the morning and finish in the evening.
Working in an office often means rigid schedules, time to calculate dropping the kids off at school, commuting to the office, finding parking, etc. We often arrive tired and stressed in the morning.
So we’ll have to put the alarm clocks back on, jump out of bed, have a quick breakfast and get dressed in a hurry.
The return to work will also be to get rid of some of our shortcomings aggravated by the confinement. Although some people have taken up cooking and baking, a sedentary lifestyle can cause weight gain and low morale. As much to say that for the motivation of the return to work, it is not won.
We have accumulated other bad habits such as evenings in front of the television. Films, TV series that are a nuisance to our biological clock. Our nights of sleep were often disrupted because we watched one more episode.
All these habits we can’t keep if we go back to work gradually. Imagine the same lifestyle today with a 6 a.m. alarm clock and all the pressure of working at the office.
A return to normalcy would mean the reopening of spaces and facilities for physical activity and sport. Pools, arenas, stadiums and gyms will eventually open. At that point, you’ll need to get back into good habits or start them if you haven’t. A good physical activity will allow you to regulate your biological clock, in addition to making you feel good. This will make the return to the office easier.
In the meantime, you can still stay in shape by participating in sports activities that are permitted during this pandemic. Skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, running or fat biking are good choices and will allow you to breathe without taking risks related to the current situation.
You will have noticed it during your months of telecommuting: less noise from offices, cars, public transportation and any other noise pollution. If you live in a residential area, getting back to the noise of the city will be a little more difficult. That’s why you need to plan activities that will help you clear your mind.
A Montreal-based company RecharjMe has designed cabins that companies can install to allow their employees to take a nap. A moment of meditation (25 to 30 minutes on average) that the employee can set aside to disconnect from the rest of the office. An activity that allows you to regain your usual calm and to come back to work more concentrated.
Many companies and workspaces, particularly in the health sector, have adopted these cabins to improve the physical and mental health of their staff. Stress and anxiety can disappear with moments like this. Thus, well-being at work can be regained through similar solutions.
One of the other challenges of returning to the office is finding time to rest and recharge. More time at the office and less time at home with friends and family can make time management very difficult.
How to do it? Allow for time to disconnect and decompress. Give yourself time during your work week. If your workspace allows it, be physically active and have appropriate clothing.
Otherwise, take advantage of your time at home to have activities with your friends. Disconnect from work at most during your off hours. Work-life balance is of paramount importance to recharge your batteries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our eating, sleeping and working habits. These changes that we did not want had a different impact on our physical and mental health.
Moreover, in Quebec, 2020 was a challenging year for mental health. Over 20% increase in orders and demand for antidepressants. Stress, isolation, loss of work for some and separation. Life has not been kind to anyone in the past year. Psychotherapy consultations have exploded, both in hospitals and in private clinics.
As a result, eating well and getting enough sleep can help improve mental health. A healthy body in a healthy mind, that’s what we often say, even if it doesn’t solve all the problems.
We hope that these tips will help you return to the office with peace of mind. If telecommuting was hard at first, before you got used to it, returning to the office could be just as hard. This is why it is important to pay attention to signals that do not deceive, such as sleep and diet.