Transitioning Back to the Office After Working from Home

Transitioning back to the office after working from home

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Moving Back Into the Office?

Every day, you wake up, roll out of bed, and make your way to your makeshift home office on the kitchen table—a place where you’ll be spending most of your waking hours until nighttime. Sound like your situation a year ago?

Working from home was one of the craziest changes we had seen in the workplace due to the pandemic. According to Owl Labs’ survey, 92% of those surveyed worked from home at least once since 2020. Now that the pandemic is slowing down, some workers are transitioning back to the office after working from home for the last year. If you are reading this article, I am sure you have some experience working remotely and transitioning back to working at the office. If not, we are here to help you make the transition easier.

As of March 2022, only around 16% of companies are still offering fully remote work, down from 70% just two years ago. If you haven’t moved back to the office yet, how do you feel about the change?

After more than a year of remote work for some individuals, many have mixed feelings about their employers reopening their offices. Some relish the idea of collaborating with colleagues in-person and swapping their makeshift home office on their kitchen table for a dedicated workspace. Others are considering leaving their current employers because they believe they do their best work from coffee shops or their living room.

Experts have said that there are certain comforts that remote work brings that can’t be replicated in an office, but that employees will be most successful if they take a proactive approach to the change—one that includes moving back at the office.

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Making the Switch from WFH to Office

Many workers whose’s jobs require them in-person are already back working in the traditional setting (i.e., waitresses, cooks, car salesmen). For others, taking back their old offices will be bittersweet—and worker success will depend on how well they adjust back into that environment.

Whether you’re going back to work full time or just a few days each week, the disruption to your routine might be stressful. We all thought remote work was the new normal, but many of us now know that is not the case. You’ll suddenly be dealing with many more individuals than usual, and you’ll almost certainly need to rearrange your schedule to allow for transit. How can you decrease the tension with this shift in your job?

Start by focusing on the advantages of returning to the workplace. Giving up the flexibility and ease of working from home will be challenging, but there are several advantages to transitioning back to the office after working from home.

The advantages could include strengthening social connections, reduced distractions that limit your productivity, and a more apparent distinction between work and home life.

Also, if you are open to moving back to the office, many employers will come to respect you as it shows your commitment to your work and your ability to be flexible in any situation.

Even if your remote job involved sitting in front of a computer all day, spending 8 hours back at your desk will feel like punishment. It would help if you had time to adjust to this pace again before diving back into the thick of things.

Talk to your boss to see if you can continue to work remotely for a portion of the week to maintain some flexibility. Progressively getting back to working in the office for 40 hours a week will help the transition.

Working From Home Negative Impact

In recent studies, scientists have discovered that people who work at home are more likely to have adverse physical and mental health effects. Some scientists believe that the negative impacts of working from home are due to a lack of social interaction at work.

Tips For Transitioning Back to the Office after Working From Home

Of course, there’s no telling how your life will change when you transition back to working in an office. All we can do is our best to ease that transition and help make it feel as easy as possible. Here are some tips for transitioning back to the office after working from home:

Communication is Key

It’s essential to communicate your plans before drastically changing your work/life balance. Tell your employer what you’re thinking of doing and discuss how they can be helpful moving forward. If nothing else, working from home has given you a deeper understanding of precisely what kind of work style works best for you, so use that knowledge in favor of establishing boundaries with your new workspace. 

Have a Plan in Place

As we said before, having a plan in place to help you transition back to the office is vital for success. Without a plan, moving back to the office could have adverse side effects on your mental health.

It may depend on how well you know your boss or where you work, but it is worth asking them whether it is necessary to work back at the office full-time right away. If not, you could suggest a plan where you can progressively come back to working in the office (i.e., starting with only working twice a week at the office). Easing back into the office will help you manage the anxiety that might come with the sudden environmental shift.

Before submitting a plan to your employer, make sure to identify which aspects of the transition will be most troubling for you. Recognizing these things will help you make a compelling case to have a gradual return.

Make Changes That Will Boost Your Professional Happiness

What are you dreading most about returning to the office (besides being back at work)? This can range from important issues like, “I want to play a bigger role within the company,” or even small details such as not taking notes during meetings.

By identifying the stressful aspects of your return, you can take proactive action to make it more manageable by discussing these aspects with your employer. The pandemic has forced many people to think critically about their work lives and evaluate what they like or dislike about it–you absolutely should do this too!

This is your opportunity to make changes that will lead you down a more fulfilling path. It’s time to build an environment where everyone has room for success.

Now that you know some tips to transitioning back to the office after working from home, you are all ready to get back to working at the office!

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