Some offices have been working remotely for nearly two years. Many companies are returning to their offices, but it’s difficult. 


Returning to the office is causing stress and anxiety as people have to readjust their lives. It requires changes in schedules, finding childcare, getting the car tuned up, and all kinds of other changes.


There are some ways to make your transition back to the office much easier. 


  • Try hybrid time. If your company will let you, see if you can split your week between the office and work. This will allow you and your family to grow accustomed to you not being in the house again. Even if you’re home a couple of days during the week, it can make work a little easier.
  • Test runs. If the time to return to work hasn’t arrived, start leaving the hours for more and more time. For example, leave for an hour on the first day, then two the next. At the end of two weeks, try to spend the whole day working away from the house, like in a coffee shop. This is especially important for children and pets who have gotten very used to you being home all day.
  • Settle back in. Bring some of your creature comforts to the office with you. If having a coffee pot next to your desk makes you happy, bring it with you. If you’ve been wearing slippers or comfortable shoes, keep doing that. Some people bring blankets, headphones, or change the lighting in their offices. Try to make your office more like your home. 
  • Keep what you can. If you’ve been eating the same breakfast every morning, do that. If you’ve been taking a break every day to go for a walk, do that, even when you return to the office. Be nice about it, but be clear with everyone that you’re trying to keep a bit of what you built. If you’re the boss, make it clear to your staff that they can keep some of their routines and creature comforts. Let them ask about what’s okay to keep doing.
  • Space is still important. You should keep the office door closed. If you have a cubicle, try putting up a “do not disturb” sign. If anyone asks, be honest and explain that you’d become used to being able to have total concentration. Don’t be hostile; it’s not their fault everything changed. 
  • Distractions are back! Yeah! On the other side of that coin, many of us missed having those social interactions that make the world a better place. While you might need to keep it all under control, you can actually plan your breakaway time. Make a coffee date to catch up on the kids’ activities or the latest reality TV gossip. 


Returning to the office can be stressful, but working with your boss, your coworkers, and taking your time, you can transition easier and even rewarding.