2020 may have been a big example of this, but it’s not the only time that people have had to take extended breaks from the office–we can think of one bouncing bundle of joy that often necessitates a break from the daily grind. Whether the idea of an office return excites you or makes you anxious, here are a few tips for managing your way back.
Look at Transportation
Depending on what the past stretch out of the office brought you, you may not have driven your car if at all (assuming you use one). Check to see if your car is in safe running condition. Do you need an oil change or new fluids? Are the tires in good condition and able to handle your commute? This goes for your bike or your bus route, too. Speaking of…
Take a moment on your maps program of choice to map out your commute from home to work, and work to home. Where are the coffee and gas stops along the way? Check the time so you can start planning for traffic. Bonus tip: Download an audiobook or podcast to make it a little more bearable.
Let’s Look at Your Closet
Oh, hello, career-casual-pants-you-haven’t-worn-in-too-long. Since you are going to be back in the office, take the time to update your wardrobe. Find pieces that still fit well, and donate a few that no longer work for you. Check your company dress code if you need any reminders and to check for updates.
When you were working from home and were mildly ill, you may have been able to still work. When you are back in the office, you may not be able to. Have a plan and check on your PTO policies with your company.
Did you adopt a new friend to have around their house? Remember to take care of them while you are in the office. This may mean finding a doggy daycare for your puppy who has never been home alone. It may also mean pet-proofing your house to get rid of hazards your pet may get into while you are away. Or just get a full on-camera system so you can still see them while you are in office.
Check on the kids’ schedules and factor in your commute. Will you need to arrange rides for the kids or before/aftercare at school? You will also need to pad your PTO in case of sick days.
Talk to HR
Now is a great time to check back on company resources. How will your company handle PTO and sick days? Does your company offer any daycare discounts or pet care discounts? Are there any commuter benefits you can take advantage of? Don’t regret missing out.
Adjustments are hard–especially ones that you don’t want to make. Have a therapist ready for a check-in leading up to and after your office return. This can help you to process the stress and adjust.
Get Ready the Night Before
It was the night before work, and all through the house you’re making your lunch and setting aside your work clothes. Set everything you need aside the night before to ensure a slightly smoother morning.
Get your Zzzz’s
With the new commute, you’re probably waking up earlier. Make sure you’re going to bed earlier, too! Getting enough sleep means an easier day for everyone.