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Going back to work? Here’s some tips on how to adjust back to the office life!

From 28 September 2020, the Singapore government has announced that more people will be allowed to go back to work at the office. This is one of the most significant ease in restrictions since the circuit breaker in April. As the number of community cases has been on a low, you might be returning to the office soon! It has been a long period of working from home, so some of you might have even forgotten what your typical day at the office is like.

Whether you’re looking forward to being back or dreading waking up early again, we’re here to help you! Even with this new implementation in place, it is also emphasised that work-from-home should still take up most of the work week. Thus, if you’re still struggling to be productive at home, you can check out some tips we have for you here. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you adjust to back to work life!

Find your usual routine

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Just like how you had to adjust to a new routine at the start of work-from-home, now it’s time to slowly adjust back to what you were used to before. Change is always challenging! With a morning routine and a plan, you’ll be bouncing back to work easily in no time! You’re probably used to waking up later and attending online meetings in your sweatpants and pyjamas. It might take some time to get used to waking up early again. Make sure to set aside enough time in the mornings to prep your clothes, eat breakfast, and even plan out the time you need to travel to the office.

Take breaks when needed

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While working from home, more often than not, you create your own breaks. This applies for meals, or laying down on the sofa after being at the desk all day. Therefore, when back at the office, you might find yourself getting restless. Longing for more breaks in between work? (no sofa to lay down though!) Don’t worry- craving for breaks is normal! It’s okay to indulge yourself in little breaks here and there when you feel like it, eat a snack or grab a coffee from the pantry, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed from the workload. Remember to make your breaks short and sweet, as breaks that are too long can make you feel sluggish, distracted and unmotivated.

Start conversations with your colleagues

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It’s human nature to crave social interaction and physical touch. Chatting with people around you helps to boost your mood and productivity throughout the day. Though you may be used to being by yourself throughout this work-from-home period, don’t be afraid to start conversations with your work colleagues again! We’re sure that you’ve missed them some way or another. Online meetings will never beat physical interactions. Ask them how they have been doing! You’ll need a friend or two to help you get through the long workdays.

Remove online distractions

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Let’s admit it, while you were working at home, there’s nobody to watch and chase you down for deadlines physically. As such, you might have gotten used to mindlessly scrolling through social media in the middle of work, binge-watching Netflix, or hopping on that online shopping trend. This is a habit that’s tough to break once you’re back at the office! Try putting time restrictions on certain apps or download apps such as Forest that locks your phone during work hours. It’s easy to fall back into your old distractions that decrease your productivity, especially when you’re bored or tired. You don’t have to cut away from social media entirely, try to limit yourself to your break times only!

Leave the office on time

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When working from home, you might find yourself working after office hours. Or even in the middle of the night, with the convenience of having your work laptop with you 24/7. This can be a bad habit as you may find yourself tirelessly working overtime at the office when you’re back. It is common when you realise that you are not able to complete the same amount of work at the office as compared to working from home. Know when to stop work and leave the office on time! After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Creating the right balance between work and relaxation is key to boosting your mental health and productivity for the next working day.

Make plans with your friends

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You may dread going back to work because it feels as if your freedom is being taken away again. That’s not true- you can still make plans and have fun after work hours! Instead of previously being cooped up at home all day and lacking the motivation to dress up to leave the house, now you can easily create dinner plans with your friends right after work. You could hang out with your family, or unwind by taking a jog with your pet around the block. Creating plans after work is a great way to relax after a tiring day.

Remember to stay safe

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While some of us might be excited to be back at the office and meet our best work buddies once again, remember to keep your distance and practice good hygiene! The pandemic is not over! We have to be responsible for our own actions to prevent a new wave and a second circuit breaker.  Stay safe, sanitise your hands, and wear a mask at all times!

Are you excited to be going back to work? As much as working from home has become a new “normal” for us now, there are still some aspects of socialising, communicating, and using office equipment that will never be the same as physically at the office. Everyone has different ways to stay productive, so we hope that these tips can help you to ease back into your work life as quickly as possible!

Don’t pressure yourself too much, as it’s going to be hard to adapt on the first day. Take every day a step at a time! As you’ll still be spending more time working at home than at the office, remember to continue staying active and engaged during this period with these tips!

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