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4 Tips For Going Back to Work After the Pandemic

Returning to work after the pandemic can be hard. Use these tips and strategies to make the transition easier.

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As vaccinations continue to roll out, more and more people are finally able to re-integrate back into society while feeling safe. Schools are winding down for the year and summer is just on the horizon. While many people have experienced some form of a hybrid work schedule, many employees are starting to return to a more “normal” office schedule.

If you find you’ve gotten used to working from home and dread going back to the office, you are not alone. According to the New York Times, many workers have found they prefer working from home to working at the office and companies are trying to entice employees to come back to the building.

If you are having a hard time adjusting to life back in the grind, here are four tips to help you ease back in:

1. Re-establish your social connections

Most people have at least one work friend or someone they get along with at their job. It might be that you do not socialize with your work friends outside of work but it is important to keep these relationships alive when coming back from the work-from-home break. Our friends at the office are often the people who we relate to the best during the struggles of the workday. If something is frustrating you (say, a meeting that could have been an email), or you had a bad moment with another co-worker, you need someone understanding to turn to.

“Work is to adults what school was to us as kids,” Shasta Nelson, author of “The Business of Friendship,” told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s the one place in our lives where we’re showing up every day with the same people.” Our work friends go through the same struggles we do and understand the most difficult parts of our job. It’s important to have someone there to commiserate with through tough times, especially when transitioning back to work in the office.

2. Keep up with your pandemic hobbies

While we were locked inside our homes, many of us picked up new hobbies to help get us through the pandemic. Many people had time to pursue artistic hobbies or pick up video games that they would never have had time to play. Maybe you read a book or re-connected with your family. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere, hobbies and self-care are crucial during the coronavirus pandemic. It is important to continue doing the things that made you happy during the pandemic so you don’t feel like you are trading in your sanity for a paycheck.

3. Take time off if you need it

It always surprises me to hear that many people don’t use their sick days at work. Your sick days are there to be used and if you find yourself having a hard time readjusting to office life, it’s okay to use one to recharge. A lot of returning to work is relearning what a “normal” day is supposed to feel like and if it doesn’t come back to you quickly, it’s alright to take a step back and breathe. Anxiety is already at an all-time high and there is no need to feel ashamed about using a mental health day. Play some games, paint a picture, or just sleep. There is no wrong answer!

4. Keep Your Options Open

If you’ve tried all of these tips and still find yourself dreading getting out of bed every morning to go into the office it might be time to start looking for a different job. There is no reason to stay in a job that you hate. I worked a job I absolutely hated for about three months and was miserable. The day I found another job was one of the happiest in my life. No job is ever completely easy and there are always challenges to overcome. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that life is short, and loving what you do is more important than ever.

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