With COVID19 finally coming under control, increasing numbers of businesses are bringing their workers back on-site. If you’re one of them, you may have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, going to the office can be a welcome change from being at home. On the other hand, it brings its own challenges. Here are three tips for dealing with them.
Prepare a work “capsule wardrobe”
Unless your employer gives you a uniform, you’re going to need to get back into the swing of dressing for work. If you’re the kind of person who loves putting outfits together, this may be one of the perks of going back to the office. If you’re not, it could seem like a challenge you’d rather do without.
If it’s the latter, make life easy on yourself by putting together a work-friendly capsule wardrobe. The guiding principle behind capsule wardrobes is that all clothing items should coordinate with each other. That way, no matter what you reach for, you’ll look put-together. This can save time as well as stress.
Organize your work meals
Find out what on-site facilities your employer will be able to offer. Then see what you can find out about other facilities in the local area. If it’s been a while since you were last at work, these may have changed. Even if they haven’t, some businesses may still be in the process of reopening.
Once you know what’s available near your work, you’ll be able to decide what you want to do about work lunches. If you do choose to bring your own food, then think about the practicalities of storage and preparation. Remember, you may not be the only one wanting to use the kitchen facilities at your work.
It might be advisable to take in meals that can be stored out of a fridge and eaten without heating. That will also give you the option to “eat out”. When the weather is kind, you can go outdoors. When it’s not, you can at least eat away from your desk.
You might also want to stock up on some healthy (and tasty) snacks. It’s practically guaranteed that people are going to bring “treat food” into work. It can be hard enough to motivate yourself to eat healthily without having temptation pushed at you. It can be even harder if you really do need something to keep you going. Avoid this by bringing your own, healthy, snacks.
Practice saying no
Before you head back to your work (or as soon as possible after) take some time to brush up on the art and science of how to say no. You might also want to refresh your negotiating skills. Remember, however, that these should only really be used for fairly minor situations.
If you find yourself really feeling uncomfortable about a situation then escalate promptly to your manager. If they’re the problem, then go to HR. In simple terms, if something is making you uncomfortable then it’s affecting your mental health. If the issue is not resolved, it can impact both your performance and your overall health.
Your employer should therefore take any concerns you raise very seriously. If they’re not, then there’s a distinct possibility that they are breaking the law and you can (and should) learn more from a lawyer.