What to expect when coming back to work post-lockdown

29 Jul 2020

Company culture

Megan Boyle

Megan Boyle

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Transitioning back into work may seem like no big deal to you. Or maybe you’ve not stopped thinking about it since restrictions started to ease. Whichever group you fall into, making the move back to the office may not be as seamless as you originally thought. There will be plenty of changes to contend with, so it’s important to take things slow and steady. 

Things will be different

The company, the working pattern, the business’ priorities, your role… All of these will have changed in some way and it may feel like you’re not heading back into the same job. But don’t panic just yet; we’re all finding our feet in this new normal, and that includes businesses. Give yourself time to adjust and speak to your manager if you’re still finding it difficult to settle back in. 

You’ll be tired

For around four to five months, our usual schedules have been out of the window. While many of us were still working from home, the routine of nine to five disappeared as people fit their work around chores, childcare and homeschooling. If you’re starting to head back into the office and finding your way back to your old routine, it’s only natural to feel exhausted after the first few days. 

Talk to your manager or employer about a slower return to work. Maybe you could work from home some days – whether temporarily or permanently – or adjust your working hours to increase slowly over a period of a few weeks. 

Not everyone will react the same

Lockdown has been a difficult time for us all, and many people are still anxious about being out and about. Some people in your office could be absolutely fine with going out for a meal or a drink, whereas others may only leave their house to go to the supermarket. Different people will react in different ways to what’s happened over the past few months, so it’s important to respect other people’s boundaries. 

No matter which side of the fence you sit on, try to be aware of different perspectives and make sure you respond to them all as positively as possible. 

Get to know each other again

Chances are you’re not the same person coming out of lockdown as you were going into it. What’s important to you and your outlook on things in life will have changed, and that’s ok. But while you may know what’s different, your colleagues won’t, and vice versa. 

Don’t expect them, or yourself, to be able to just slot back into your ‘old self’. It’ll take a little time for you to get to know one another again, so just take it slow.

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