If you are experiencing the back to the office blues, there is no need to worry. Settling into the office routine is easier for some than it is for others. Following the anxiety-filled, work-from-home adventure, brought to us courtesy of the pandemic, many will find the return to be somewhat challenging.
Getting accustomed to the office commute, the rigid office routine, and the shared spaces, in combination with the usual health and career concerns, are all but certain to leave one feeling exhausted and confined. Of course, returning to the office environment is essential for a return to normalcy.
However, overcoming these challenges is possible, and overcoming the back to work blues is doable.
1. Expand your network and make connections
After weeks and months of relative autonomy, while surrounding by co-workers and forcing to conform to new norms can be feeling some level of discomfort. Don’t run from these feelings, embrace them, and share them with colleagues. View this as an opportunity to expand your network and achieve a new level of intimacy with your team.
Sharing your experiences, anxieties, and concerns can open avenues of conversation, which, after months of limited opportunities for socialization, are very likely to be well-received by your peers.
You are not the only one suffering through these adjustments. So, put on a brave face, and help create some positive energy and openness. This is not only for your benefit but also for the benefit of your co-workers.
2. Take regular breaks
Because you are under intense pressure to perform, it is critical to pace yourself and take regular breaks. By doing this, you will increase your productivity, creativity, motivation, as well as reducing your susceptibility to burnout.
Many view breaks as a means to avoid work, however, the opposite is true. Properly structured, breaks can boost your energy and your focus. Whether you are applying the 20-20-20 ruleor simply enjoying a coffee with a colleague, you are recharging, regaining your focus, and rewarding yourself for previous efforts. For these reasons, you must integrate breaks into your daily routine.
3. Make plans
Despite the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, it remains important to plan for the future. This is because this will help you to gain perspective on the present.
Moreover, making plans is an excellent way to chase away the back to the office blues. Plan an upcoming vacation or a weekend outing with the family. Planning your workday is equally important. Clear your schedule and organize your daily tasks. This can be a tremendous boost to your productivity.
Something as simple as beginning your day with a simple but necessary task. Something you can finish quickly, as it will make you feel that you have accomplished something. It is essential to set a positive tone for the remainder of the day.
4. Work on your sleep
Getting the best possible night’s sleep is a powerful boost to your overall well-being. While many of us overlook poor sleeping habits as a factor, the truth is that losing sleep can be at the root of many of our problems. Poor sleep affects IQ, eating habits, mood, and concentration, to name a few.
Admittedly, back to the office blues, and sleeping habits seem unrelated at first blush. However, disrupted sleep patterns can contribute to reductions in energy levels as well as a host of other physical and mental issues.
The degree to which the lockdown has contributed to our physical deterioration is yet to be determined. Nonetheless, as we make our way back to normalcy, we would do well to consider sound sleeping habits as key to our full recovery.
Fortunately, we can begin Improving our sleep through healthy eating, exercise, and enhancing our sleeping environment. These are just a few of the many tools available.
5. Negotiate more flexibility
If these tips aren’t getting the job done and you are still feeling the pangs of the back to the blues, it is time to negotiate a more flexible work environment. Approaching management with your ideas will be a daunting task, but you may be pleasantly surprised at how open to the idea they will be.
The preferred approach is face to face negotiations, in which you lay out your thoughts and make your case as to how a more flexible work schedule will improve performance and enhance employee satisfaction.
We must not lose sight of the fact that we are spending one-third of our life work. If you don’t look after yourself, the end result could be burnout. Suggested reading: The Signs of Burnout at Work and What to Do About It. If that fails to help you, it may be time to consider a career change!