As the pandemic restrictions reduce and businesses open up, it will soon be 'business-as-usual mode. If you are going back to work after quarantine, definitely some may have a fear of contracting the disease. For many employees, it is also about risking the life of family members and staying healthy.
What can you do about it?
Returning to office
A PwC report suggests that more than 70% percent of people surveyed in the US had concerns about returning to the office after covid 19. Another report mentions that 54% of those surveyed do not want to return to the office. Forbes reports that only 9% of those surveyed in the US wanted to return to the workplace.
What is the reason?
Fear of catching the covid for self and transmitting to family members, partial burn-out from remote working, changes in local restrictions, and more are keeping employees away. In fact, the PwC report suggests that at least 25% percent of those surveyed would like to move away by fifty miles from their base office location. This doesn't include 12% of employees who have already moved away.
A Microsoft study in Europe shares that 82% of employees say there has been no change in productivity levels from pre-covid times compared to working from home.
While the reasons are varied and personal, even companies have benefitted from remote working. Lowered rentals and real estate costs, easier administration, increased employee wellness, and satisfaction are top of the rung reasons to continue working remotely.
You cannot ignore the new normal of a hybrid working. A hybrid workplace meets employees' needs, concerns and companies who want to get back to the new normal.
Here is our review of a Hybrid work environment.
Preparing to Return to Office
Are you anxious about returning to work after Covid-19? Well, here are some pointers on how to get back to work after quarantine.
1. Calming your Anxiety
Embracing the time off you have had from commuting to the office and saying your gratitude are the best ways to calm yourself. After all, this has affected everyone else too. Keeping your calm will work in your favor as you can complete your tasks. On the other hand, going back to work with anxiety isn't going to be much helpful.
2. Get Back into Routine
Spend a few days ahead of your return date to get back to your office routine. Settling back into the office will take time. Keep extra time on hand as cafes may have limited diners who can enter at a particular time; expect queues while entering and leaving offices, as you swipe in or swipe out.
3. Avoid a Burn-out
Everyone understands that setting back after a year or more of remote working can be challenging. Be careful not to burn yourself out as you go back to work after quarantine. Things would have changed with walkaways defined, people keeping distance from each other, and more.
4. Up your Patience, Flexibility, and Empathy
At work, as you connect with colleagues, patience and empathy are two skills to use. Colleagues have gone through troubled times, with many losing their near and dear ones. The psychological fear and the impact of covid-19 is fresh in many people's minds. Giving colleagues the benefit of the doubt, an open approach is helpful while having conversations.
When going back to work after quarantine, staying flexible to work timings, nature of work, and tasks will be a key factor in managing work. As many colleagues work from home / remotely, those in the office could get requests for assistance with an odd job here and there.
5. Manage expectations
Knowing that many things have changed, you need to be ready to manage expectations. Some offices have a partial workforce coming on alternate days. Considering safety, technology has taken over with QR-based apps for entering, sanitizers and disinfectants follow in most nooks and corners, elevators have restricted numbers that can ride (increasing your wait time), and more.
6. Stay focused
Staying focused on the company's and your work deliverables are highly recommended when going back to work after quarantine. Being flexible shouldn't be misread as staying flexible on client or work deliverables. A focussed approach helps all team members to stay in sight of work to be delivered. As most colleagues work from home, communication and collaboration could be a challenge. This is because of limited resources as you work from home in comparison to when in office.
7. Be joyful
The pandemic is in the past. What is here today? Being happy encourages others and you when going back to work after quarantine. With a focussed approach, being joyful for what we have today will help you in good stead.
Hybrid Office Solutions
Transitioning back to work could be challenging. Various technological solutions are available to enable a smoother transition to hybrid offices. Here is the latest.
Autonomous hybrid office software offers options to book your hot desk. You can also connect to the office through any remote or satellite office easier. You can book or cancel hot desks and look for meeting rooms. As you connect to a remote office, other colleagues know that you are available for meetings or a quick catch-up. The Autonomous hybrid office enables business leaders to engage with employees from a larger global talent pool.
Jam is an instant connect software that does not need to set up meetings and passcodes. Want to chat for a quick minute? Jam it! Want a one-minute clarification on a document? Jam it! Formal or informal, catch-ups are easier in person as you speak or text!
The SmartDesk Hybrid is an integral part of Hybrid Office solutions. This promotes employee well-being by offering ergonomic workstations that may be used as hot desks, standing desks, or corner office desks. As office designs break paradigms of traditional open offices, the new normal is establishing smaller, clustered approaches to allow social connections and informal working in most companies. The SmartDesk Hybrid offers ergonomic workstations (desk and chair) that give employees the freedom to work, sit, or stand. Amazing, isn't it?
Here is our blog on a hybrid workplace
In summary, as you prepare to return to your workplace, you may need to be alert and tune yourself to expect changes of the new normal. This is normal and to be expected! Happy working!
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