Tips for Preparing to Return to the Office Post-Pandemic

Many offices are gearing up to reopen in the coming months, but what exactly does that mean for businesses, their employees, and clients? Some employees may be a little hesitant to return to the office until things are settled and strict regulations are mandated. But then there are others that are itching for a semblance of normalcy, which includes going back to work in an actual office building with their colleagues. Working from home was a great convenience for a little while, but it was never meant to be a permanent change. As the prospect of returning to the office inches closer, here are some great tips to help employers and employees prepare for this new chapter in their careers. 

Return to the Office Post-Pandemic

Update Your Workspace 

When returning to the office, keep that same “new year, new you” energy alive that you normally have at the beginning of a new year. This is a great time to fully reinvent your professional persona and contribute to a more positive work culture than ever before. If your workspace hasn’t changed since you last saw it pre-lockdown, then it may be time to make a few changes here and there to bring it up to date so it reflects who you are now. A lot has changed since you last set foot in that office nearly two years ago. You may not realize it, but you’re a different person than you were at that time. There’s no time like the present to update, redecorate, or refresh your workspace to suit your current needs and tastes.

You might even want to consider going for a more minimalist style to help you focus better as you get reacquainted with office life.

Be Patient and Flexible

Adjusting to a new normal way of life can be difficult and it will take some time. Practice patience with your employees, your customers, and yourself as you all get reacquainted with one another and integrate back into a social and professional environment that’s been lacking for the past two years.

Everyone’s comfort levels are unique, so just be mindful and respectful of the behaviours and social norms that are deemed acceptable and unacceptable in this ever-evolving work landscape. For instance, you may be comfortable transitioning quickly into shaking hands with business associates and clients, but others might not share that same enthusiasm just yet. Respect people’s boundaries and give them plenty of time to adjust to working in the office and the new normal expectations that come with it. 

Monitor Anxiety Levels 

Naturally, there are some concerns and anxiety associated with returning to the office after such a long period of time. Some of those concerns are related to COVID-19, of course. But there are other reasons people may be feeling a little anxious. After not seeing your coworkers for a while, getting back into the swing of things can be a little stressful and overwhelming.

Carefully planning out your workweek and schedule can help alleviate a great deal of that stress. Give your employees access to resources to help them feel more at ease as they return to the office. This can include a designated meditation space, a break room, or access to mental health resources for those who need it, just to name a few examples. 

Even if you’re feeling stressed about returning to the office, renting an all-inclusive office in Mississauga or Ottawa can help make the transition a lot easier for you and your employees. Fully furnished office spaces for rent provide you with all of the tools, equipment, and materials you need to maximize your company’s efficiency and productivity. 

Brush Up on Your Travel Policies 

To help keep their employees safe and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in office spaces, many employers are engaging in contact tracing practices. This involves asking all employees to sign forms stating that they haven’t tested positive for COVID-19, travelled outside of the country over the past two weeks, and other stipulations. 

It’s well within your rights and responsibilities as an employer to ensure the health and safety of your employees. If employees are required to travel for work or any other purpose, update your travel policies accordingly and ensure that all Health Canada restrictions and guidelines are being followed.

Manage Expectations

Even though more people are getting vaccinated and companies are taking special health and safety precautions to keep people safe and prevent another lockdown, things can change very quickly. It’s important to manage your expectations of modern office life and remain adaptable at all times. 

Don’t assume that we’re completely out of the woods just yet. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to accomplish full herd immunity and that could take some time. As you learn to navigate the new normal way of life, it’s best to keep a good head on your shoulders by creating a feasible daily routine that helps you stay safe and productive while at work.

Maintain a Good Sleep Schedule 

Getting a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to maintaining your mental and physical health. Studies have shown that those who don’t meet the minimum sleep requirements for their bodies lack mental focus and are more susceptible to health problems and diseases. To keep your immune system healthy and strong, it’s important to get a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per 24-hour period. 

Fatigue doesn’t just negatively impact your work performance; it can also be dangerous for driving to and from work. Some studies have shown that driving while tired is actually more dangerous than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Maintaining a good sleep schedule and nighttime routine can help prevent daytime fatigue. 

Get an Office Space for Rent in Mississauga or Ottawa

Since the future is so uncertain, it might not make sense to invest in a long-term office space rental or even purchasing a commercial office space. Innovative Professional Offices gives you security and peace of mind with our fully furnished short-term office rentals in Mississauga and Ottawa. This way, you can still get access to all of the necessary furnishings, equipment, and resources you need to manage your business without being locked into a long-term contract. Our office rental packages are completely affordable and flexible according to your needs. Book a tour today to view our executive or corporate office rental spaces in Mississauga or Ottawa! 

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Pat Fernandes

Using all the skills, experience and knowledge gained in my work life, it gives me great joy to help professional business owners to find a comfortable office space to carry out their day to day work. At Innovative Professional Offices we provide executive office space for solo-preneurs and small companies. We provide virtual office services for those who work from home, but need a business address and telephone. We provide board rooms for meetings and small seminars.
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