As we start to head back into the office, you may be feeling anxious. After more than a year and a half of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, re-entering society and the workplace can be stressful.
How many people will return to the office? Will handshakes and hugs make a return? What about plastic dividers, hand sanitizer dispensers, and boxes of disposable masks at the entrance just in case you forget yours at home – will they be a part of the new workspace?
And what about our colleagues, with the freedom of location allowed by remote work, who moved away during the pandemic? Or those who were hired within the last year or so and live elsewhere?
With remote work, our work landscapes have changed significantly. Now, more than ever, companies are engaging a global workforce. Many are moving to live in locations with more affordable costs of living because they’re no longer required to live within commuting distance of an office. And others are finding themselves on teams with members located across the globe. Being able to connect with your colleagues, especially in their native language, can be an invaluable tool.
Wondering where to start?
Recently, we introduced Workplace Talk, a new category in Drops. Workplace Talk was created to help you succeed in the workplace -- whether remote or in the office -- in a new language. Try it out now.
If you’re heading back into the office for the first time since stay-at-home orders were put into place, we’re here to help, as well. Let’s talk about a few ways to adjust to getting back to work in person.
Keep yourself and everyone else safe by following the hygiene guidelines put into place by your workplace. Be sure to keep your hands clean, use disinfectant, wear a mask if necessary, and follow whatever distancing guidelines may be in place.
Maybe it’s more flexible work hours, dress code changes, or location flexibility. Maybe it’s a hybrid solution where you commit to spending a certain amount of time in the office but are still able to spend part of your work week at home.
Transitions and change naturally make us feel anxious or nervous. Evolution primed us to feel comfortable and safe in stable environments but on edge and on the lookout when we’re headed into unfamiliar territory. And heading back into the office after a year and a half of working from home is certainly unfamiliar territory for most.
A lot has changed since stay-at-home orders were put into place and so it’s perfectly fine to feel anxious when it comes time to head back into the office. Be gracious with yourself as you make this transition.
On the fence about whether or not heading back into the office is right for you? Here are a few of the benefits of working in a shared workspace with your team.
How teams work together has historically happened through observation and engagement between colleagues. The remote work environment has proven to be challenging for many, especially for those with little work experience.
When working remotely, it’s a lot harder for new employees to see how things are done and get immersed in the work environment. And it’s more challenging for experienced or established employees to see when their teammates are struggling or when something hasn’t been passed on that needs to be taught.
The more time employees spend together, the more focused you’re able to be on the company mission and values.
When colleagues have easy access to one another during work hours, it encourages collaboration. This is hard to create in remote work environments. A lot of company information sharing happens through frequent, short interactions between employees in-person. In remote work environments, communication happens through text or needs to be scheduled and it makes it more challenging for information to flow freely.
And this isn’t just for work conversations and collaboration -- this is important for job satisfaction and building connections between coworkers. According to Harvard Business Review, having friends at work increases work satisfaction.
Whether you’re heading back into the office or continuing to work from home, connecting with your colleagues and a positive company culture are necessary for success. This is where Workplace Talk, the latest addition to Drops can help.
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