Back to work: How to mastermind your return to the office post-lockdown

Our tips for supercharging the transition from WFH to office work once again.

Many of us have only just adapted to working from home over the last few challenging months, converting our living rooms into make shift offices and spending hours gazing down a webcam at fellow colleagues over Zoom.However, as it becomes increasingly safer to do so, many commuters are re-boardingthe Tube and adapting to what will be a new sense of normality by returning to the office.

To best adjust to this transition, we believe it is important to rebuild a day to day routine. Many of the routines and structures that we all had in place have fallen victim to the pandemic and many of us remain far from working like clockwork again. Therefore, to maximise productivity, calm any nerves and take care of mental health, we have some top tips for rejigging working life to best suit this return to the office.

Maximise your mornings:

Moving from your bed to the shower to the kitchen is not really a commute, is it? Therefore, the all-important morning routine is due are turn. For starters, plan out your office attire. Many of us have spent the last few months sporting a creative combination of un-ironed shirts that are just about passable over a webcam with ragged tracksuit bottoms. Before returning to the office, it is important to rediscover your favourite office wear, whatever it may be, returning to work fresh, with the clothes that help you be at your sharpest and most productive.

Usually, the morning commute is something performed semi-robotically. You know where you’re going, when to get off and exactly how many songs on your playlist you can get through between stations. However,having been out of the office, and possibly off public transport for a while now,it is important to readapt and reprogram, taking a little extra time in the mornings. In light of social distancing measures, station layouts and entrances have changed, modifying your usual morning pattern. Readapting to the morning commute can also be a useful opportunity to integrate new, productive habits into your routine. Now is a good time to pick up new habits such as grabbing a book or working podcasts into your routine. On your way to work, we would recommend tuning into something from our handpicked list of favourite podcasts.

AW Break-out area

Make the office work for you again:

It’s been a while away from our desks. Therefore, it is crucial to take time to settle in once again, making the office space the best place for your style of working. Now, this style is likely to have changed over lockdown. Working from home has meant that many of us have been used to the deep focus and concentration that comes with working away from colleagues. Perhaps,aspects of this lifestyle have suited you. This deeper focus can be easily integrated into an adaptable, modern co-working space. At AW, we combine open-plan spaces with smaller, cosy pods, to accommodate for differing working styles. As you find your feet in the office once again, take time to switch between different locations within the office to readjust to new working styles picked up over lockdown.

Remaining fixed behind a desk all day is a stark contrast to the flexibility provided by working at home. However, upon returning to the office, it is crucial to focus on comfort and wellbeing. Taking time away from the laptop screen, for a long-awaited chat over coffee with a co-worker, or focusing upon oneself through our weekly meditation sessions is just as important as getting back to the graft. Gotten used to having your music playing off the Alexa whilst working from home? Just ask our community manager to plug a playlist into the sound system in the communal areas to show off all your guilty pleasures. In our eyes, the office environment is so much more than just a desk space and should act as your home away from home upon return.

Work at your own pace:

It’s completely understandable to be nervous about there turn to the office. These last few months have been challenging on numerous levels, making the thought of returning to a sense of normality intimidating.Therefore, taking time to focus on your mental health is crucial. Under our flexible co-working programmes, the amount you come into the office is entirely up to you and we believe it is important to manage your return at a pace you feel comfortable with. This might not be every day, every week just yet.However, when the time is right, AW is waiting to welcome you once again to all the things that you cherish about office life.