COVID-19 has disrupted business operations and dramatically changed the way people live and work. With the vaccines being rolled out, companies are slowly letting their employees back in the physical office, and the economy is slightly picking up. Reasonably, many would be overwhelmed and feel a little frantic about transitioning from pandemic work-life to post-pandemic. When the time has come for you to take on this new phase, you can lean on to this list to facilitate your adjustment smoothly and get acclimated without a hitch:
- Revisit habits formed during the pandemic.
Almost everyone followed a routine in the conduct of their daily lives before the pandemic. As the virus is slowly being contained, many are puzzled whether or not they should immediately go back to their old ways post-pandemic. While it is easy to revert to your normal routine simply, you might have formed healthy habits that you can still benefit from in the after-COVID world. Instead of going back to your neighborhood gym after work and the Chinese takeouts, continue with the home workouts and the healthy recipes you have grown to love. Not only will you save money with such, but you can also maintain good health while reassuring yourself of your safety.
- Practice time management.
As employees are being recalled to report back to work physically, they must prepare for certain adjustments that a new work environment might demand. Although time is a limited resource, backlogs, transposed responsibilities, and other ad-hoc tasks can be addressed with preparation, strategy, and organization. In drafting a schedule, do not forget to include mental health breaks of 10-15 minutes when you can be away from the keyboard and divert your focus and attention to regain a new sense of purpose.
- Demarcate work and personal life.
In Buffer’s State of Remote Work (2020), it was revealed that the biggest challenge remote workers continue to face, despite the availability of remote work hacks, is unplugging after work. This only makes work boundaries even more critical in the post-pandemic work setup. As such, it is highly recommended to disconnect from work once your shift is over. Organizations and their leaders should support establishing work boundaries so that cases of stress can be reduced. You may naturally be resilient as an employee, but this can only lead to burnout once you reach your boiling point.
- Reach out to your peers at work.
Your social circle in the workplace can help you build a sense of belongingness and forge support for one another in the transition. Share stories, demonstrate empathy, and rekindle relationships with friends you are close with at work. As everyone finds their place and adjusts to the new work environment and norms, a culture of support can go a long way than getting yourself pressured from new policies.
- Avail your PTOs should a need arise.
When you feel stressed out and frustrated about work, maybe it is about time to take a break and respond to your mental health needs. Many employees take advantage of their paid time-offs to step back and breathe fresher air that can help them regain strength to carry on with their work. In the post-pandemic setting, travel plans will no longer be restricted to domestic destinations. After all, it is high time for the travel industry and vacation rental businesses to regain their former glory.
- Allow for mobility and flexibility.
Research from Gensler (2021) revealed that employees who spent at least a fraction of their typical work week out of the office displayed higher levels of workplace satisfaction, engagement, and job commitment. And as office lobbies become crowded with employees again, workers’ productivity will nonetheless be the top priority of employers. Employees have to be mobile and display unmatched efficiency, be it at the physical office or home. Indeed, the nature of work is an ever-changing landscape. People then would have to be more flexible, agile, and collaborative.
- Respect others’ transition.
It has been more than a year of wearing masks and following social distancing rules to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus. While you are slowly getting back to your pre-pandemic rhythm, others might find it challenging to get rid of their COVID-19 safety practices. Respect their pace, situation, and their transition, as it might cause them a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety if you demonstrate a gesture or attitude that contests their reliance on such practice. Perhaps you wonder why your colleague would prefer the last cubicle on the far-end of the work hall, or why your seatmate still keeps a face mask on, let them be. People cope differently, and you should not take it against them.
- Do not get rid of your hygiene, sanitation, and social distancing practices.
Yes, the world is slowly breathing its standard patterns again, and it is almost as if everything has gotten better. Although it is managed, we cannot fully say that the virus is already bottled up, neither will it be anytime soon. Despite the vaccine clinics and a growing number of people who already had the jab, we all should retain our COVID-19 safety practices. It is a safe habit that delivers us from not only the Coronavirus but also other illnesses.
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