Offices are opening back up again, which will be daunting for many employees, but some crave that return to normality. 27% of workers say they struggle to unplug while working from home in 2021, an increase of 9% compared to our first year working from home in 2020. This is understandable; the line between our work and personal lives has blurred. People are getting a little agitated and are yearning for a small slice of normality — and normality for most is returning to work.
12 months or more working from home is a long time, so, if you’ve been told to go back to the office, how do you prepare? Here are four tips.
1. Plan, then plan some more
- Planning can disarm anxiety. If you have control over your working week and know what to expect, going back to work doesn’t seem overwhelming. Even if you’re not worried about your return to work, planning can still help you step back into office life easier.
- Ask yourself how you’ll get to work. Getting to work might be difficult, particularly if you used to take public transport and you’re not sure about getting so close with others. If you’re looking for a socially distanced route into work, consider driving for the first few months or book a private ride through your ground travel provider. You can arrive at work refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
- By the way… booking and riding with Gett is a carbon-neutral experience. Each gram of CO2 is offset so you can ride with confidence, knowing you’re not creating unnecessary carbon emissions! Read more about our ride greener initiative.
2. Have a chat with your line manager
- Talking to your line manager before you return to work allows you to determine what processes are in place for social distancing and what’s required from all employees. For example, some employers have asked staff to wipe down their desks before leaving each day, wear masks when they’re away from their desks, and eat their lunch at their desks. Just knowing what to expect can help you mentally prepare.
- If the thought of the 9-5 rigidity worries you, ask your line manager if there’s any chance you could build a more flexible working week. Perhaps you’d prefer to work from the office for 2-3 days a week, and the others from home. Or if travelling is part of your job, maybe you’d benefit from just the one day in the office. 43% of US workers want to work remotely more frequently after COVID. So it’s important employers respond to this — after all, it’s a global workplace trend. People want options, and there’s no reason organisations can’t try to accommodate this shift going forwards.
3. Brush up on your travel policy
- If you travel for work, you’ll need to understand your travel policies for different locations. Whether you travel locally or internationally, it’s crucial you know how to access your travel policy and understand what is and isn’t permitted.
- Due to COVID, your organisation might have implemented a permissible travel framework to keep travel to a minimum, which will help you define what is classed as necessary travel. There might be procedural changes when it comes to travel; for example, your organisation might have remove autonomy for booking ‘safe’ accommodation.
- If you’re a travel manager, you’ll have to account for possible employee quarantine on return to the country if they travel abroad. As we’re all aware, the red-listed countries change frequently based on localised outbreaks. For more information about the UK red list, visit gov.uk.
With Gett, you can stay in control of your corporate ground transport usage by using our dynamic Travel Policy functionality. Setting rules for the types of vehicles, operational time and much more, couldn’t be easier! For more information on our customised travel policy feature, drop us a line.
4. Be understanding of others
- If you’re a manager, you’ll already know that every employee is different. We worry about different things, and anxiety is only natural in situations like this one. That’s why it’s important to be understanding and accepting of your colleagues — not everyone might be overjoyed to be back in the office.
- It’s a good idea to reach out to colleagues before you’re due back in the office, particularly colleagues you feel you can be honest with. Building a support network inside of work can help make the transition back to the workplace easier.
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