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How To Keep Safe On Your Return To The Office

21 June 2021

When office life was ruined us last year, some of us adjusted well, while others struggled. However, as the pandemic progressed, one thing became clear: amidst the madness whirling around us, our residences were the only location where we can all feel safe.

Employees are gradually returning to their workplaces after a lengthy COVID-induced absence. Some will be itching to get back into the spirit of things and start picking up where they left off, while for others, going back to the office after such a long absence may cause panic and anxiety. Irrespective of how employees feel about returning to work following COVID, they may be concerned about keeping safe at work.

Even if you don't have any specific concerns about coming back to work, you may be anxious about how you'll stay healthy and safe after spending multiple months at home. Many organizations are prepping their workplaces for employees to return following COVID-19. There will undoubtedly be a lot of work ahead of you, but how equipped will you be physically and psychologically to return to the traditional workplace after the COVID-19 break? It can be challenging to reopen businesses after COVID-19. You should plan ahead of time for the return, keeping your safety and health in mind. It's not only about getting back into the groove of things; it's also crucial to look after yourself.

The reality is, not everyone has been vaccinated yet for whatever reason. There isn't enough supply in some parts of the world yet for anyone to just walk in and get one. If your return to work date is fast approaching, you may be grappling with the idea of leaving the security of your home to work in a setting riddled with uncertainty. We've compiled a list of valuable tips for making the return to work during the epidemic less worrisome.

Ask if you can still work from home

Many of you have most certainly been working from home during the previous few months, and if you have the option to do so, you should continue in most cases. Office-based businesses will almost certainly have to ask at least some of their employees to work remotely for an extended length of time, especially if limitations prevent office buildings from returning to the total capacity. Alternately, you may be able to go to work in increments, going in only a few days per week to help you get back in the habit. If you are uncertain or have issues, speak with your employer or a human resources representative to better understand the circumstances at your workplace.

Prep your clothes

It might not be easy to coordinate your work clothing, especially if your employer has a dress code. Before returning to the workplace, it's necessary to plan and ensure that all clothing fits adequately. You may have grown accustomed to wearing comfortable attire at home. Try on those blazers or button-up shirts, so you're not caught with a top that's too snug around your chest or a skirt that's too wide on your first day back.

Secure hygiene

The first thing to keep in mind is that the personal hygiene precautions advocated during the pandemic will remain in effect. Wash your hands constantly and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. While your employer should encourage surface cleaning, you may want to do it personally. Clean up your desk, mouse, and keyboard regularly with an anti-bacterial wipe. You should probably do it every time you leave and return to the workplace.

Consider having your hygiene kit. Anti-bacterial hand gel or alcohol, a face mask, wet wipes, and tissues might all be included. When going to and from work, you should consider wearing a mask, especially if you take public transportation. This, of course, is especially applicable to anyone who has not been vaccinated yet, whatever part of the world you may be from.

Avoid crowds, especially during commute.

Try taking a different route to work, such as walking or biking. This will not only help you escape crowds but may also be used as part of your workout routine. Even if you only use mass transit for a small chunk of your travel, it will be beneficial. If you can't get to work other than public transportation, try to work outside of the typical 9 to 5 schedule. Do the same if your shift falls under rush hours to limit your contact with others as much as possible.

Get the hang of your routine.

Your work-from-home timetable should be changed as soon as possible. Because you got used to not having a daily commute, you may wake up late and have little time to get dressed before beginning your working day. But that's going to have to change if you go back to work. Return to your routine before the pandemic. Set up alarms to wake up early, prepare breakfast, shower, and dress. You'll thank yourself because you're not completely drained or rushed off your feet when you return to the office.

Keep social distancing at work.

When it comes to putting distancing policies in place at the office, employers should take the initiative. Expect to arrive at work to find workstations that are much wider apart or panels between desks when space is limited. But, you must be mindful of social distancing when in shared areas such as restrooms and lunchrooms.

Consider the elevator to be public transportation. Avoid it if possible, and if you must use it, make sure to wear your mask and sanitize after touching surfaces. Alternatively, you might use the stairs instead, which is a great way to stay active while also avoiding crowds.

Prepare your lunch

A communal refrigerator, as well as mugs and utensils, is a frequent element of many workspaces. Make your strategy if your employer does not provide you with explicit direction in these aspects. If at all feasible, pack your cup, dish, and cutlery to work. If you frequently bring your lunch from home, invest in a tiny cool bag to avoid using the fridge and subject yourself to another public space. If you will be utilizing shared facilities, handle them like you would any other item and make sure to clean them pre- and post-usage.

Upgrade if possible

Set a standing desk in your office to increase exercise while you work, enhancing both your productivity and motivation, if at all possible. It also aids in the burning of calories and the reduction of stress on your lower spine. With sustained, frequent use, they lessen your risk of developing other health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes. It's another excellent approach to get ready for your return to work following COVID-19, as long as you're willing to stay on top of things and avoid sitting at your desk all day. Go ahead and check them out here!

Final Word

We recommend speaking with a mental health expert if you are feeling excessive anxiety or cannot execute daily chores after getting back to work. Take these simple actions to properly equip yourself for your return to work and help keep you and those around you safe while you wait for your turn to get vaccinated or just to stay and keep others protected. Maintaining a structure in our life might be beneficial during this transition, and we should proceed with caution regarding the post-pandemic reality we are about to embrace. The end goal is to return to work safely and enhance or keep up our performance during this transition period.