With many companies onboarding remotely during 2020, some employees have never seen their company’s office in-person, even after working with the team for over a year. Is this you? If you’re worried about making the transition to a new space after establishing your work relationships from afar, don’t worry. Today on the blog we’ve got some tips for surviving the shift.
Meet with Coworkers
If you live locally, don’t wait on your manager to set up a gathering with your team. Instead, take initiative and plan a dinner or happy hour–your coworkers may have forgotten that you’re “new” and haven’t had the opportunity for face time with everyone. Plus, in-person gatherings are a great way to build team rapport and camaraderie.
Adjust your Routine Now
You may have gotten accustomed to a particular daily cadence: taking your dog for a walk at 11 AM, rolling out of bed and answering emails, or doing childcare pickups and drop-offs between calls. But now is the time to adjust your routine for the days you’ll be in the office. Arrange your new schedule, get your family on board, and gather any resources you might need to make things happen. Start the new routine at least a week ahead of your first trip to the office so you can iron out any kinks beforehand.
Practice the Commute
Don’t be late on your first day! Practice the commute at the same time you would be driving to account for any traffic since you haven’t had the opportunity to experience it before. If there’s a coffee shop or library nearby, you could work from that location for the day and commute home at the same time. This practice puts you in the mindset for on-site work, so you don’t encounter any surprises.
Ask for a Tour Early
You might be able to ask your manager or the HR manager at your company for a tour before your on-site office work begins. That way, you’ll know where your desk is located, how to get through building security, and where you’ll find any other resources you might need throughout the day. Many offices have eliminated assigned desks if they’ve chosen a hybrid work policy, but setting your eyes on the workspace beforehand will help you feel less anxious about finding your way to the right spot on the first day.
Bring Supplies with You
If you do get your own desk, bring the essentials for making work efficient and comfortable. If you loved having an external monitor, ask your IT department about procuring one for your new desk on-site. If you have a filing system that works well, implement it when you get to your cubicle or office.
Remote work forced you to find what worked well for you. Keep that mentality when you get back to your desk, so you can continue to do your best work.
Remember to Keep Communicating
Don’t let clear, inclusive communication drop off now that you meet in person. Some teammates may still be remote or hybrid, and they need to stay in the loop. After an in-person meeting, send the meeting minutes and any action items around to the team as a follow-up email.
If your team is hybrid, you may still be using Zoom for meetings. To keep the best quality sound, the team may choose to adopt a one-person-per-screen process so no one is left out of a group conversation.
Don’t drop the effective communication tools from 2020: figure out what works well and keep using it.
Bring Your Own Cleaning Supplies
Your company will probably outline the daily cleaning procedures, but if you’re sharing a desk and feel uncomfortable, don’t forget your own disinfectant wipes. Take whatever precautions you need in order to feel safe in the office.
Focus on the Benefits
First of all, you’ll be able to spontaneously collaborate with your teammates or colleagues from other teams. You get to see the CFO in the elevator and overhear about marketing’s new ideas at the coffee maker.
You’ll also eliminate the technology problems you faced daily during remote work: no more microphone issues and poor WiFi signal. Instead, you can just walk over and speak clearly to a teammate.
Plus, being in the office provides a focused, work-centric environment without the distractions of kids, that pile of laundry you’ve been neglecting all week, or your kitchen full of snacks so you can get more done.
Working from home certainly has benefits, but so does working directly with your team in-person. After over a year of remote work, it can be difficult to adjust to “normal” work life again, but with a few key shifts of mindset, you’ll be ready to go in no time.
If your career path is leading you to find something new, let’s chat. Our trained staffing experts have an advanced network on contacts to help you find the best role for you. Connect with us today to get started.