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Many of us are bound to have a mixture of excitement and anxiety towards things becoming more normal in the near future.
For many of us working from home has become normal, we have created workspaces, new hobbies from the extra time, adjusted to childcare arrangements. We do not want to lose the things we have gained over the last year, although many of us will be keen to see people again we may still be anxious and hesitant about the commute and being in the office for the first time in a year or more.
To help, here are my 4 simple tips to consider on ways to feel more confident about the return.
Speak to your manager about how you are feeling, any anxieties you may have or worries. Your manager should help reassure you that the office space will be safe and let you know exactly what measures have been put in place to help protect staff members.
Find out what hours and days will be expected in the office and whether there is any flexibility on this to help avoid busy travel times. Speak to peers who may have already been back into the office and find out what their experience was like, they may have some tips or faced some challenges which you could avoid.
Being organised and planning your morning will help your trip go smoother and will take away any added pressures you potentially face. Do as much as you can the night before, have your outfit laid out ready to wear when you get up. Make sure your bag is packed (including mask and hand sanitizer) and any equipment you may need such as laptops and wires and are ready by the door to go.
Look at train times and pre-buy tickets or make sure your oyster card has been topped up before your first travel so this is not an added stress in the morning.
For some of us, the worry may really revolve around the actual commute to and from work, the thought of sharing a small and often enclosed space can seem very daunting during the pandemic (made worse during hot weather!) raising your concerns and fears.
Aim to travel outside of rush hour or when public transport is generally quieter if possible. Develop a relaxing playlist of music or pick a podcast which may have you engrossed can act as a perfect distraction. A book too may help distract you on your journey and inevitably pass the time quicker.
As mentioned above, ensure you have packed the relevant items to help you feel safer, so have your own hand sanitizer so you are not worried about finding them regularly around stations or public areas. Pack more than one mask in case you lose one or feel like you need a fresh one after being in a confined space.
It is important to remember that we all have had our own concerns and worries as we face each stage of the ‘Covid road map’ and you are not alone. We know that there are challenges to be faced in the workplace as well as our personal lives and as such we want to provide you with some useful signposting that could be helpful in providing you with any support that you may need. We have created a directory on our health and wellbeing hub.
For further career advice visit our employability hub.