At the moment, lots of people are in the process of returning to work, thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. Hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country have been on furlough, spending three months or even longer in some cases at home. Now, with the rate of infection dropping and the peak of the crisis apparently over, it is time to start going back. The problem is, it takes a lot longer to get back into the routine of getting up and going back to school and work than it does to fall out of the routine. That first couple of weeks can be really tough going on everyone!
If you are returning to work after a period away – perhaps because you have been on furlough thanks to COVID-19, or maternity leave, or returning after a career break to look after your children, we have some top tips to try to help make the transition a little easier on you. Ready to find out more? Let’s go.
Remember why you are doing it
To regain your focus, remind yourself of why you go out to work. This varies from person to person – some people it may be that they are making a difference to their community, for others it is setting a good example to their children, and for others, it is merely going out to earn money. There is no right or wrong answer to it, but reminding yourself of the benefits of going to work can make a massive change to your mindset. It’s pretty easy to find a registered childminder or a babysitting service to help you with childcare.
Reestablish your morning routine
If you have some warning before your return to work, use it to get back into a routine. This can be one of the hardest elements of going back to work; no more lazy lie-ins, leisurely breakfasts, and getting showered and dressed when you feel like it.
Before you go to bed, pack your lunch. The last thing anyone wants to do first thing in the morning is to have to fuss about making a packed lunch to take to work, which is why many people fall into the trap of buying food at work or on the way. Of course, this costs money and sometimes it is not the healthiest option!
Another thing to do the night before is to sort out your outfit and accessories for the next day. That way, you will see if anything needs ironing or if there is anything that needs sorting, rather than running around doing it in the morning.
Make sure that all of the things you need to leave the house – keys, phone, purse, swipe cards, travel passes, and so on – are all together, either in your work bag or somewhere you won’t miss them as you leave the house. The easiest way to end up in a fluster in the morning is not to be able to find your keys!
Take some time for yourself
Once you are back at work, it can be much more difficult to find little pockets of time just to sit and ‘be’.If you have children, you are possibly rushing about trying to get them ready for school or childcare, working, doing housework, helping with homework, doing the shopping and all the other aspects of being a parent. However, it is important to grab moments when you can, even if it just five minutes, where you can take a few deep breaths and focus in on yourself. Maybe grab a cup of tea, or if coffee is more your thing, treat yourself to a coffee of the month subscription, and sit in the garden for a few minutes. In the shower, spend a little more time pampering yourself – popping on a hair mask or just standing and enjoying a few moments of peace.
Make a brain dump
In order to avoid being overwhelmed by the never-ending list of things to do, people to see and places to go, keep in mind that the only way to eat an elephant is to take one small bite at a time.
Make a list – a brain dump, as it were, of everything that you need to do and remember, and put them in order. What can you achieve quickly and easily, and what takes more planning and time? If you can start crossing things off your to-do list, it seems a lot more manageable.
Be kind to yourself
Going back to work after a long period away is a big adjustment, so give yourself a break to begin with. Very few businesses will expect their staff to be working at full capacity straight away, so build in some natural breaks to your day. This might be standing up to do some stretches or taking a few moments outside to take some deep breaths to ground yourself.
As we said in the previous point, make a list of the things you need to do and identify the three most important ones. Once you have done those, give yourself a big pat on the break. That’s a win!
Ease yourself into it
Obviously, this depends on the sort of job that you have but if you can, spend the first day recentering yourself, catching up on unread emails, revisiting old policies and familiarising yourself with new ones and getting to know any new members of staff that may have joined in your time away.
Make the most of your time off
When you are back at work, you will learn to really appreciate and make the most of your time off. Try to avoid thinking or talking about work on your free days, turn off the work phone and do not be tempted to check your emails. You will be a much more productive member of staff if you go back to work feeling refreshed and rested.
The transition from being at home to going back to work can be challenging, but put these tips into practice, and you will soon be back into the swing of things.
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.