The return to work: How to cope with the change

The government roadmap for life after Covid-19 is now well underway, with shops open, beers flowing, and restaurants once again filling hungry bellies – it’s a great sight to see and one that we never want to go without ever again. We’re likely to see many businesses implementing their return to work plans in the coming weeks in tandem with these looser restrictions. It’s exciting news, but also a huge change for those of us who have been working at home for the past 14 months and have simply forgotten how to work from an office environment. In some cases, this may even be the first time that you’ve ever met your new colleagues – this is true for almost everyone who’s started a new job whilst working from home. If you’re a little worried about the return to the office and how you’re going to cope, don’t worry – we’ve put together a handy guide with some tips on how to handle the transition and make the most of your work/life balance!


If you would like to reach out to someone about your worries, Manchester Mind is always on hand. Manchester Mind is Embryo’s chosen partner charity for 2021 and we’ll be raising money through fundraisers and team challenges over the course of the year to support them in their mission. You can learn more about our charity work with Manchester Mind by checking out our social channels! 

Ease yourself in 

Over the past year, working from home has become the “new normal” for many of us, with many liking the new working model whilst others have found it very difficult to adjust to the home working environment. For many, the office provides structure, patterns, and familiarity to the way that we work – we recognise the morning commute as the start of our day, lunch break as half-time, the end of the day as the time to close the laptop, but whilst at home, many of these lines have become incredibly blurred. Whilst for some it’s lead to a better work/life balance with flexible hours and less commuting, others have experienced far more trouble with getting things done, which is more than understandable due to the major change in conditions. 


With the office return now on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about the differences we’re going to feel when we go back to work in the coming weeks. One of the biggest differences that we’re going to experience is the reintroduction of socialising in the workplace, which has been one of the biggest losses during the pandemic. On the whole, this added degree of social contact will be a hugely welcome factor, but it’s important to ensure that you aren’t overwhelming yourself as you integrate back into the workplace. When you’re heading back into the office, be sure to get involved with everything that’s going on, but don’t forget to take a step back and give yourself some time to work independently too. After all, this is how you’ve become accustomed to working in the past year. 


Give yourself some alone time 

Alone time is important in every aspect of life, not just when you’re working – it ensures that you have time to reflect, compose yourself, and check in with yourself every once in a while, which can be hugely beneficial when there’s a lot going on. Once you move back to the office ensure that there’s a space where you can block out those around you and focus on your work; this way, you can remain productive and focused without being overwhelmed by the bustling environment around you. Most importantly, make sure you’ve got a decent pair of earphones or headphones on hand, as this is sure to help you block out the noise and focus on your work. 


Monitor how you’re dealing with the change

When you’ve had a bit of time back in the office, you’ll want to reflect on the new environment to make sure that everything is going well, or whether you could do with taking things a little more slowly whilst you embed yourself back into the office. If you’re having trouble adjusting, it might be worth talking to your manager about altering your schedule to ease you back into the office more gradually – given the circumstances, we’re sure that your employer will be more than happy to accommodate your needs to keep you feeling happy and healthy as working life returns to something that resembles what we were used to before the pandemic hit. 


Our work with Manchester Mind

Of course, we do understand that it can be hard to ask for help sometimes and without the right support you could be left to suffer in silence, but this should never be the case. If you feel like you need some extra support to help you with the big changes that are happening around you at the moment, get in touch with Manchester Mind. At Manchester Mind, you’ll find tons of useful resources, interesting information, and options for support to help you get through any tough period without ever having to feel like you’re struggling alone. No matter whether you’re looking for help, to get involved with offering support, or you’d simply like to donate to the cause, Manchester Mind’s door is always open.


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