Plan Plan Plan
Let’s face it a lot can change in a year (especially when you are living in a pandemic). It is important to start planning your first trip back to the office in advance as lots of things may have changed since your last visit to the office. You will need to consider how you will be getting to the office, are you comfortable getting public transport? If so, have the timetables changed with less frequent services on trains and buses? Although there have been plenty of struggles along the way, we have all been forced to see the home office/dining room table/sofa as our permanent office for the last year. Consider what office equipment/stationery you may need to take to the office with you to ensure you are using what has become a more comfortable option for you since working from home.
We recommend that you have a discussion with your colleagues or line manager in order to cover any changes that have been made to the office since your absence. This is a great chance to raise any concerns or questions that you might have. Don’t be afraid to ask anything you would like reassurance about, e.g. Will there be any different procedures when entering the building? Is my desk still in the same location? Will the canteen/onsite caterer be open and are there restrictions on use of the staff room/communal areas? This way you have a definitive answer and you know what to expect when arriving on the day! The more you know, the less things you have to worry about as there are bound to have been lots of changes.
Get Fresh Air During Your Break
It may take a couple of days, weeks, even months to get used to the new routine in the office. It is important to make sure you are having regular breaks throughout the day while your body adapts. Even if it is just to stand up and leave the office for a couple of minutes to get fresh air, you will be surprised how this can positively affect your concentration and motivation to get the next task done. So next time you start to lose focus head to the kitchen to refill your glass of water!
Start Waking Up Earlier
I have struggled to find any friend that has missed the struggles of the daily commute. Whether it’s a 2 hour cramped train journey or a 30 minute smooth drive, this is valuable time in our day that we have got used to using for sleep, exercising, eating among other things. The shock to the system is going to be huge unless you start taking steps to reduce this early. Our body clocks have had a year to adapt to the later wake up times so it isn’t a surprise that our bodies will not like the new routine. Ensure you gradually set your alarm 5/10 mins earlier each day to warm your body up for that dreaded commute.
Don’t Sacrifice Exercise
During the pandemic we have had a lot of spare time on our hands. Of course, lots of this time has been spent binge watching Netflix to try and forget about the lack of holidays. On the other hand over half of Brits have also taken up a new form of exercise in lockdown with the majority vowing to continue the new hobby when lockdown is fully eased. With the sales of bikes increasing by over 60% year on year we can all take one positive from the pandemic. However with the need to return to the office, exercise is bound to take a hit. Ensure you plan your routine to work around some kind of exercise 3 or 4 times a week. Whether you need to join the local gym near your office to ensure you exercise in your lunch break or whether you have to get up that little earlier to fit in a quick exercise class online before work, do what is best for you. Not only can exercise reduce the risk of major illnesses by up to 50% it can also lower your risk of early death by 30% (Ref: NHS.uk). Having a sedentary lifestyle can be worse than you think!
Encourage Team Spirit
It has been hard over the last year to connect fully with the team on a personal level. Team morale and staff wellbeing could perhaps be at its lowest as people are asked to start returning to the office. A staff team building activity would encourage interaction and communication between individuals outside of the working environment. At Team Tactics we have an award winning selection of team building activities perfect to reunite ‘burnt out’ teams. Using our 25 years of corporate event experience we have adapted our activities to ensure they are safe for your team. Why not explore the streets of London and uncover some of London’s best secrets in a fun team iPad treasure hunt challenge? Alternatively try things you never imagined trying, achieve things you didn’t expect to achieve, and learn things that you will never forget in a Circus Skills team activity!
However if your office is starting a gradual return to the office, we are also still providing our popular virtual team building events perfect for any remote team. Contact us for more information about our selection of events.
And finally, be patient with each other. Everyone has been affected by the pandemic in different ways.