Refinding Your Work Groove After Sheltering in Place

For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic created a whole new work reality. During shelter-in-place orders, you may have been working from home—or maybe you were unable to work at all.

Either way, when it’s time to restart your work life—heading into the office again, rejoining your old job, starting a new gig—the transition may feel a bit odd. Going from sweatpants (or no pants) to work attire is tough enough. But then you throw in the new routines, the different environments, and the overall newness of everything and, whew, this sounds tough.

Here are tips for smoothing your transition back to work and refinding your day-to-day groove.

Act Like You’re Starting a Brand-New Job—Even If You Aren’t

Hey, a little extra effort never hurt anybody at work.

If you’re starting a new job, congratulations! If you’re returning to an already-held job, you’re getting reacquainted with your office, your coworkers, your bosses, etc. In any case, use it as an opportunity to establish yourself.

  • Respect the workplace environment. Every place of business has a unique dynamic and culture—and it may be different after the pandemic. Read the room so you can determine how to put your best foot forward.
  • Set boundaries. Even though you want to impress, it’s important to maintain a work-life balance and avoid burnout.
  • Be inquisitive. Asking questions is important: It’s how you learn. If you seek guidance from people around you, you’ll gain a lot of knowledge.

Relearn How to Focus

Your environment at work is likely different from what you had at home. Get back in the swing with these tips:

  • Prioritize your day. A to-do list can be your best friend when you’re looking to maintain focus.
  • Limit distractions. Set aside time without gadgets or interruptions.
  • Take breaks. Stopping and going for a quick walk can help recharge your mind.

Re-Establish Good Workplace Habits

Getting to a specific place on time. Packing a healthy lunch. Putting on pants. These are all habits you haven’t employed in a while. But that doesn’t mean they’re lost.

Reacquire and re-solidify these actions by:

  • Identifying your goals. Figure out the behaviors you want to change, or those you want to start, like showing up on time.
  • Making a plan of action. Set small, reasonable goals so you don’t dive in all at once. (Start setting your alarm earlier by increments, for example.)
  • Being patient. You may not fall back into these habits right away. Be nice to yourself and allow for hiccups.

We’re all coming back into the workplace together, so if you’re feeling a little uneasy, you’re part of a big club. You can find a groove again—just give it time.

Source: The StayWell Company, LLC