While remote work is a good fit for many companies, others want to reintroduce the office. That means you may need to trade your free Zoom backgrounds office graphic for a real-life cubicle. Returning to a professional environment after working at home can be jarring, but there are ways to make the transition smoother. If heading back to the office makes you anxious, give these tips a try.
Maintaining Social Boundaries
Boundaries are essential to preventing burnout, which can leave you physically and mentally drained. Unfortunately, many companies push against employees’ boundaries to squeeze more productivity out of them, even though such an approach actually backfires. Companies may even encourage a culture of boundary-overstepping, leading supervisors and coworkers to pressure others to do more than they should.
Setting and reinforcing boundaries can be challenging and uncomfortable, especially if you work in a company that engages in the above behavior. However, holding to your boundaries is critical in prioritizing your health. For firm boundaries, follow these tips:
- Say “no” politely, but don’t offer an explanation.
- Delegate work when you feel overwhelmed.
- Set clear expectations of what you can accomplish and how much time you intend to invest in a task.
- Don’t argue with someone pushing against your boundary. Instead, reiterate the boundary and leave it at that.
The best Teams backgrounds limit distractions, allowing coworkers to focus on the meeting. Similarly, you can boost your productivity by reducing distractions at your desk:
- Focus on one task at a time.
- Check emails at set times instead of throughout the day.
- Create a prioritized to-do list.
Another good way to stay on track is to assign deadlines to tasks with a flexible timeline. Creating a firm time to complete work ensures you don’t put things off until they snowball.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have coworkers who have been at the office longer and have experience doing a particular task you struggle with, you can shoot them a message asking for tips.
Prioritize Your Health
Plenty of offices have high-stakes accounts or tight deadlines; for many, working in these high-pressure environments means lots of stress. Unfortunately, long-term stress can negatively impact your physical and mental health. While getting a promotion or a bonus is admirable, it isn’t worth damaging your body and mind.
Prioritizing your health can actually help you achieve your career goals in the long run since you’ll have more energy and focus. To create a stable foundation for the stresses of work life, boost your health with these tricks:
- Take regular breaks.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Create a routine.
While moving back to the office can be stressful, it also has benefits. For example, you don’t have to worry about having a logo background for video conferences since you’ll have a quiet, distraction-free place to set up. You’ll also have access to copiers, fax machines and other equipment at no cost. As you get closer to your return date, focus on these positives and remind yourself that you’ve been in this position before — all it takes is a little time to settle in.