It’s no surprise that after a period of absence from the office, coming back can be a bit tough. Whether it’s a weekend away, a quick vacation, months of work from home, maternity leave, or transitioning from an old job to a new one, the gap away from the office makes it difficult to restart.
Because of recent circumstances worldwide, most of us have been either off from work or working from home. While work from home is ideal for entrepreneurs or freelancers, it is not the same for 9 to 5 corporate job holders.
Before the coronavirus, this was a problem limited to a few individuals within a company or selected by a few company cultures. But now, it is a global challenge for the majority of employees worldwide.
Despite the specific guidelines, laws, and regulations of business, city, or country, it is only natural that each individual may have difficulty in making the transition back into work after a long break.
Let’s dive in, and take a look at how to make the transition as smooth as possible for you to get back into the office.
Six Important Factors to Consider as You Head Back to Work
It is crucial for employees to understand that the lockdown has been difficult for everyone in varying ways. Individuals have suffered and so has businesses, nations, and the global economy.
Most of the workplaces will not be the same, they will have changed and will continue to change to build a safer work environment in the Post Covid-19 era. Time is needed for any sort of normalcy to return.
Here are some facts to consider:
Consider the Differences in Mentalities of Your Stakeholders
Your stakeholders in the company where you’re employed are all the people who have a stake in the company. For example, your coworkers, clients, suppliers, work affiliations, and of course the immediate stakeholders – the management.
It is crucial to understand that they will all have differences in their approach to getting back to work after a gap of almost 6 months if not more. Some will be impatient for a return to normal, while others will be extra cautious about the new normal.
You should understand the positions of all your stakeholders, as well as that of yourself. This will allow you to empathize with their situations and build a positive attitude that will help everyone make the right decisions.
Reflect on Your Principles & Work Ethic Upholding Company Values
Remind yourself of the principles that you had once set as a new employee, your work ethic, and the company values and mission statement.
These can motivate, inspire, and allow you to ease the varying degrees of challenges and emotions in the workplace.
Always be clear of the purpose of your job and then take the safest approach to fulfill it. Use the company mission statement to direct your thinking towards ethical decisions.
These will not only make it easier to handle tough situations but also make you feel proud and privileged. And others around you may also benefit from your positive energy.
Be Bold in Your Actions and Be Creative in Solving Problems
When you return to work after such a long and challenging break, you will see that some things are shaken up. Not all of the previously adhered rules will be followed strictly, and there will be changes and adaptations. Likewise, you may be given a degree of flexibility to handle things differently.
This will allow you to look at things from a new perspective, and perhaps solve problems with some out-of-the-box thinking. This could be welcomed by the management or your team members as part of the new normal.
Make the Best of All Strategic Tools at Your Disposal
Similar to creative thinking, your strategies will also have room for change. Be sure to use all the tools at your disposal such as any hidden talent that you may not have had the chance to use before.
As companies operate with lower numbers of staff, more is expected from each employee on site. Take advantage of that and put your strategic thinking to work.
Recommend the services of a coworker which would be helpful to both your coworker and the company. Use the hidden talents of your team members that management might normally have overlooked.
You can propose your thought-out plans to save costs and cut the budget to save your company at a time of dire economical conditions. Not only will this be beneficial to your organization, but it will open doors to more opportunities for your career.
Stress the Importance of Strong Communication
As a senior member, you can focus on the importance of communicating plans with all team members. As a junior member of staff, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts as these are legitimate concerns that others may also have but could not address.
No matter the scale of a plan, communicating it with involved members will ensure the smooth execution of the plan. Also, the potential of rumors spreading and anxiety build-up will also be curbed through strong communication.
Make it clear to all stakeholders exactly what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how it will affect them. This will ensure that all parties involved are more comfortable with a decision or a change.
Rebuild Your Team from Scratch
Do not simply get back to work after the break like you are just coming back from a weekend. Many of your coworkers, clients, and other stakeholders may have lost a close one or may have been affected by some other unfortunate event during the break.
It is important to have a direct line of contact with members and reestablish the comfort. Essentially, rebuild the team as if it was the first day of your work together.
Many will have physically, emotionally, or financially suffered and will need some time to get back to normalcy. Respect the unknown and start fresh with a lot of patience and a fresh perspective.
After-effects of Lockdown Due to Coronavirus
One of the most important things we need to discuss is the lockdown that saw the world stop at its steps across the globe. The coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of people in every country in varying ways.
Things are no longer the same anywhere.
Most of us have been at home due to the lockdown imposed by governments of specific nations in an effort to secure the people from a massive outbreak. Many developed countries have seen employees forced to take unpaid leave.
Measures were set in a place where both the government and companies came together to provide salaries to permanent contracted employees even while the businesses were limited. But smaller companies were unable to afford this and subsequently had to cut staff to run with fewer employees, if not close their businesses.
Unfortunately for developing countries such as Bangladesh, government support is not as financially strong as other developed countries across the world.
The after-effects of the lockdown have seen many companies that have gone out of business, individuals have lost jobs and are looking for work to get back on their feet. Similarly, businesses are looking for a lifeline to restart their once normal business operation.
It is important to note that each life is impacted differently by the lockdown and this has a significant impact on those individuals coming back into work in the office.
Handling Employees with Care as They Get Back to Work
It is recommended that employers and employees handle each other with care as there will be a lot of tension and a range of emotions at play when getting back to work in the office. Handle every situation with patience and be sensitive to both good and bad news.
Work from home may have been a challenge for many, while it may have been a success for others. Many may have been out of work and will be rusty on getting back to work. With projects unfinished and budgets low, the tensions will be high for management.
The feelings of frustration and anxiety may lead to depression or rage. Workplace sanity must be ensured by making those feelings settle without affecting business decisions. Overall, a higher level of sensitivity is required from all stakeholders towards each other.
Tips for Making Getting Back to Work Smooth in the Office
Remember that businesses are built by the cooperation of all of its stakeholders. So, each and every individual has a significant role to play to ensure the success of a company.
The following are some tips to make sure your transition back to work is as smooth as possible:
- Take time to adjust from being unemployed or work from home to being back at work in the office,
- Ask for help when you need it and do not act as if you are fine when you’re not,
- Be prepared and welcoming to embrace change, all types of change in the workplace,
- Be flexible and open-minded to all ideas, suggestions, and help from others at work,
- Maintain a healthy work-life balance, do not plunge neck deep into work to make up for the lost time,
- Know your physical, mental, and emotional boundaries with your time and energy,
- Communicate well with friends, family, and coworkers about your transition to help you,
- Stick to a healthy regime and focus on healthy eating, lifestyle, etc. for energy & positivity,
- Learn new things to cope with the new challenges and help you grow.
Everyone will have unique situations and you will have to find the most suitable coping mechanism. However, these tips will ensure that you don’t break at the initial phase of getting back to work.
Getting back in the office after a break is difficult. Just think about your weekend. The first day back to work after the weekend whether you get back on a Saturday, Sunday, or a Monday – it’s the worst!
So, whether you’re getting back after a short spell of unemployment, a challenging spell of work from home, or any other gap in your career, the important thing is to take baby steps. Take everything one step at a time to give yourself the best chance to succeed.
No matter what the challenge, kick out all the fears and doubts in your head and start putting yourself out there sensibly. Everyone is destined to find their unique path and there is no plan, so trust in yourself, be kind to others and you will be just fine.
If you have lost your job, don’t give up. Search through the BikroyJOBS portal, give yourself time and most of all, work on it as a process to get your desired result.