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Back to the Office
With many of the UK restrictions now lifted, many companies and businesses are making the move to bring their employees back into the office. Whether it is full-time or part-time back in the office, it might feel like a bit of a shock to the system after nearly 18 months of working from home. Thinking about commuting, lunches, fitting in fresh air and exercise might all feel a bit overwhelming, which is why we’ve compiled some simple tips to prepare for going back to headquarters. It’s important to remind yourself that you did used to go into the office every day, and so you can absolutely do it again.
How many companies are back at work?
There is not enough data right now to pinpoint just how many UK companies are already back in the office, but the vast majority of companies and businesses have at least some of their employees back on a part-time basis. Since the pandemic began, offices have had to adapt to ensure there is sufficient room for social distancing, along with increased cleaning and sometimes face coverings worn throughout the building. Every company is different, so do make sure you check what Covid protocols are in place in your workplace to keep you and others safe.
Getting back into a routine
Having a routine, that works for you, is a brilliant way to not only maintain a good work/life balance but also look after your mental wellbeing. A routine that works for you is absolutely key here. Routines are individual and are based on so many factors – office location, how much sleep we need, family commitments, the type of work we do, etc. It’s important to tweak and refine the routine so it suits you and your family’s needs, which is why there is no one size fits all here. Rather, we suggest using the tools and tips below to create your own balance.
These are five key areas that are worth considering when thinking about your routine and going back to the office.
Sleep is often dubbed the unsung hero of wellbeing and it’s one of the most important things to consider when going back to the office. Going back to work might mean a long commute, which needs to be factored into your morning and evening and so it’s worth really drilling down to a) how much sleep you need to feel refreshed and 2) how can you make sure you get that amount of sleep? If you need to get 8 hours, and you have to wake up at 6am to commute, it might be worth considering how you can properly wind down in the evening by 10pm to get a good night sleep.
You can see more tips on how to get a good night sleep on our blog here.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet wherever you’re working is important, whether it be remote or in the office. Many people have said they found it easier to eat healthier and more wholesome meals whilst working from home – as they had more time to think about ingredients and create dishes from home. The secret to good nutrition when heading back into the office is prep. Thinking ahead, creating a meal plan, putting together a shopping list for the week and prepping meals in advance as much as you can. This goes for snacks, lunches, dinners and even breakfasts.
We have tonnes of delicious recipe inspiration. Take a look at these:
There are vast bodies of evidence that exercise and movement are good for us – physically and mentally. You may have found a way to incorporate a walk whilst at home, or making time to go to the local gym, but how do you fit this in when heading into the office?
A top tip is to think outside the box – walking part or all of your commute for example is movement. Can you make a trip to the gym at lunchtime, or perhaps fit in a run? Could you do an online work out video at home before or after work rather than a gym class? Or perhaps it’s about exercising on the days you are working from home and prioritising a short walk only when you’re in the office. Whatever you do make sure it works to your schedule and don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out every day.
You can see some simple tips for getting back into running here.
4. Fresh air
Fresh air became something we all craved during lockdown and it is most certainly something we should strive to keep in our daily routine where possible. Perhaps it is just a walk around the block or if you can get to some green space, even better.
5. Mental wellbeing
Arguably this should be number one, but we’ve kept it until last so it is well remembered! What we have been through with the pandemic has had a huge emotional cost, and it is more important than ever for each and every one of us to look after our wellbeing, in whatever way that looks like for us. It’s important to communicate when we are uncomfortable or worried. It’s important for us to maintain and understand our own boundaries to protect and look after ourselves. It’s important to make time for the things we need to make ourselves feel good, whether it’s journaling, meditating, exercising or anything else. Whether you are headed back into the office full or part time, remember your wellbeing is still a priority.
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