Whether you are a business owner or someone who has been furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have started to think about the day you’ll be returning to work. Although it’s likely that your workplace will not go back to normal right away, we wanted to offer some tips on how to make your return to work as successful as possible when the time does come.
Use this time to improve your workplace
For business owners whose workplaces have been empty due to staff working remotely or being on furlough, now is a good time to improve your workplace. Construction workers and tradesmen are starting to get back to work, and there is no better time to revamp your space than when it is unoccupied.
Whether you think a fresh lick of paint may make it more inviting, or you can finally get around to installing a disabled lift, there is plenty you can do to upgrade your space and make your business more efficient in the long run. If you are able to identify where the inefficiencies lay before, you will be able to use this time to iron them out for the future.
If you want to get the staff involved, you could even talk to them about what they’d like to see in the workplace and try and fulfil their wants for their return. Then, when your team do come back, they are sure to be inspired by the upgraded space and feel keen to put their all in and get back on track.
Kickstart your routine early
Those who have been furloughed during this process, or who have perhaps found their workload lightened, might have adapted to a new routine at home. With no commutes to consider, the lure of working from the sofa harder to resist and not having defined lines of where work finishes and homelife starts you may have found yourself working in an all-new way.
If you have a return to work date, we suggest that getting yourself back into a more traditional working routine in time for it is imperative. This means that you’ll be as prepared as possible when the time does come, and you can no longer afford to get out of bed 20 minutes before the start of the working day.
Sam from the blog Strawberry Squeeze agrees with this advice, telling us: “Routine is so important so you can clearly draw a line between work and home. Never work in your bedroom and set yourself normal working hours. It’s tempting to spend the morning in bed, I get it (believe me), but logging off at 5:30 pm and having your evenings to yourself is important for your mental health.”
Becky, known online as The Lifestyle Blogger UK, also told us: “Getting back into your normal workday routine as quickly as you can, will make the transition feel smoother and within no time, you should feel just as you did before we went on lockdown.”
See it as a fresh start
For those who have been on furlough, or working less during this period, when returning to work you may be able to treat it as if you were returning from a holiday. Try to use this time to relax and refresh (even though it may be hard in the current circumstances) and when you return to work, act as if you’ve been on a break. You likely won’t have seen your colleagues for weeks and will have a lot to catch up on (even if it is only talking about what’s been on TV!)
During this time, we’ve all been more isolated from our friends and loved ones than we would have liked and being back around company and being able to mix with different people every day will certainly feel refreshing and exciting.
Becky told us this is her top tip: “My top tip for going back to work after the extended break or working from home would be to see it as a fresh start. If you can, try to go back into it exactly as you would if you were coming back from a holiday.”
Learn from lockdown
For many, lockdown has been a period where they have spent more time with family, gotten more in touch with nature and likely learnt a thing or two about themselves. It would be a shame if we were to all return to work and forget these effects.
There is a lot we can learn from lockdown. Perhaps you realised that taking a walk during your lunch hour is great for your mental health, or you’ve found a new style of working that is more efficient for you. It can be easy to slip back into exact old routines, but this is a wonderful opportunity to upgrade yourself and use what you’ve learnt whilst working remotely to your advantage.
For business owners, perhaps you have realised some of your staff are more productive when working remotely – is this something they could continue to do after lockdown? Restaurants, maybe your new takeaway menu has seen your sales go through the roof – could you implement this fulltime?
This time has been hard for all of us, but that does not mean that we cannot learn a thing or two from it. Business owners, sit down with your staff and talk to them about how they’d like to move forward, and staff, talk to your managers about what you’ve found works for you and see if you are able to implement that into your new working routine.
Whatever sector you are in, the working landscape is sure to be different when you return to your workplace. However, with these tips, you’ll be able to kick start your return and get started on the front foot. So, whether you take this opportunity to install a platform lift or come back and create a new routine, there is plenty you can do to move forward in a positive direction.
How to make your post-COVID-19 return to work successful:
- Upgrade your workspace
- Kickstart your routine early
- See it as a fresh start
- Learn from lockdown
For more advice and tips, make sure to take a look at our news page.