Everyone thought that the pandemic is a temporary phase and is going to end in no-time, but now we can all agree that it is going to stay awhile. Many companies introduced the work-from-home policy for the employees, to keep them safe and make sure they work without any worries.
While it has been an easy transition for almost all organizations, some can’t run their offices from home. Due to this dilemma, some companies have shut down altogether, while others are considering reopening the offices with the compliance of government rules and regulations.
It is a risky thought, but many people are the sole bread earners of their home, so they would rather take the risk than sit at home doing nothing. There are many things that are going to cross your mind as you transition back to work during the pandemic.
While the results are unthinkable and inevitable, you can make the transition easy by the top 3 ways given below-
Prepare yourself physically-
From taking an elevator down your building to traveling and touching all the places in between your home and office, be cautious. There are sanitizers almost below every building now, keep disinfecting yourself whenever you see one. Don’t think that you did it 5 minutes back so you don’t need to do it again.
During those 5 minutes, you could have touched various places, which could have been crawling with the coronavirus. Therefore, the first tip is- you can never be too careful. Always carry a hand sanitizer too, as you won’t be surrounded by government-supplied disinfectants all the time.
You may want to rethink your priorities if your workspace is not following social distancing regulations, or you can share your concerns with your boss or HR, and make sure that they start complying with the rules.
If your workplace has applied the rules and your colleagues are not following it, you can ask them to be safe and teach them about the consequences of not following the rules, of how this will not only affect them but everyone else around them.
Prepare yourself mentally-
Different people are handling the pandemic differently. But, most of all, everyone is anxious that they might contract the virus. The second step to transitioning to your work is making sure you are mentally prepared to be working in the office environment again.
After staying isolated with your family members for so many months, going back to your old routine can be hard. You can tackle this problem by starting a pre-routine. Before starting your office, get back to what you would normally do on a regular working day.
Wake up at the same time, get dressed in your office clothes, work the same hours that used to work in the office, and sleep at the same time. This can help you in getting used to your regular office routine. If you are anxious and panicked, know that it is completely fine and normal.
The pandemic has been hard on everyone, so if you are feeling anxiety, remember that probably your colleagues are feeling it too. You can calm your mind by trying different techniques such as practicing mindfulness. Close your eyes, breathe in and breathe out slowly, and try listening to all the low decibel noises in your surroundings.
This will distract you and calm down your mind automatically. If you are a person who likes to share, seek the help of a co-worker, or HR. Let them know what thought is troubling you. They might not be able to rid you of your anxiety, but sharing will remind you that you are not alone in this.
Responsibility of the manager-
As a manager, once you have decided that you are going to reopen your office, there are many things that you have to ensure, safety, and hygiene is the first. It can be hard to set boundaries, by telling people not to hug or shake each other’s hands.
Instead of telling this to them personally, simply create a presentation showing all the consequences of physical interaction. You can also include what safety measures you want them to follow. You can also reduce the risk by giving flexibility to the employees who can manage work-from-home easily. Don’t force everyone to come to the office.
Also, train your HR department to be sympathetic towards all the employees, to lend a sympathetic ear if anyone is going through something troubling. These are the times when we need each other’s support the most. You can devise a strategy by making everyone discuss their fears with others.
This will help in calming them down and boosting their confidence and productivity. Let them know that they are brave and appreciated.
This pandemic is here to stay, no one knows till when. We have to start going about our lives like we used to, and get ready to adjust to this pandemic, and “the new normal” trend.
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