Returning to Work After a Pandemic
Since roughly March of 2020, the professional and workforce landscape has been rocked by the effects of living through a pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic largely shut down people’s day-to-day lives and caused the professional realm to pivot in a direction that would be accommodating to updated safety protocols. The adjustment to virtual business was difficult no navigate, and now that many office spaces are reopening it still feels as though we are far from back to normal. Here are a few tips that I have learned since returning to office space to help ease the return to work after a pandemic:
Upkeep Personal Hygiene: It should be a standard to maintain prioritized and heightened attention to personal hygiene. Keep cleaning regimens and scheduled disinfecting of commonly touched objects. Clean your doorknobs, keyboard and mouse, and wipe down your desk. Beyond cleaning high trafficked surfaces, it is important to frequently wash your hands and keep hand sanitizer or wipes readily available. This leads me to my next point, be honest with boundaries when it comes to returning to the office space.
Be Honest with Boundaries: Returning to the office also means reuniting with coworkers. As such, it is important to be open when it comes to setting and maintaining healthy boundaries. Some people may not be ready to shake hands and prefer to either keep their distance or go for an elbow touch. Maybe your coworkers are more comfortable staying masked up, or even staying virtual. Everyone moves at a different pace when it comes to reacquainting with old standards, so it is important to understand and accommodate different levels of comfort.
Stay Organized: I have found it quite helpful to stay as organized as possible. Being back in person means that additional daily tasks will be added to your plate or new in-person meetings that you do not want to forget or miss. Additionally, it is important to factor in the time that it takes to physically go to these events. Gone are the days of leaving one online call to log on to the next. Now it is important to factor in commute time, parking, traffic, and all the small rituals that add up to hours in your day. Organizing your schedule and keeping daily and weekly tasks on hand have been really effective in staying productive.
Hopefully, something in this post will help with the navigation back into the workforce. Overall remember to be kind to yourself and others as we are all navigating this difficult time together. Best of luck!