Tips for Dealing with A Post-Furlough Return to Work
You don’t need us to tell you that these have been tumultuous times. Suddenly forced to remain indoors for months on end, we eventually adjusted to it as best we could. Now, with restrictions easing and many of us returning to work in some form or another, we have to adjust to yet another change.
Naturally, this can leave us feeling in a state of flux that can be difficult to navigate. But as humans, we adapt—it’s what we do. And thankfully, there are ways we can make this easier for ourselves.
Anxious about returning to work after furlough? Here are a few ways you can make the transition a bit smoother.
Shape your day with a solid, coherent routine
Our daily routines have been thrown into disarray during the pandemic. Even simple things like brushing our teeth or having our morning coffee have been thrown out of whack.
Some people thrive on this lack of routine. They relish the freedom of having no set schedule. But for most of us (this writer included), this lack of structure is not as welcome.
Routines play a vital role in our mental stability and outlook. They give a sense of direction, preventing us from wasting time on other, less important tasks and remaining productive— which is especially important as we return to the workplace.
Get into the habit of waking (and rising) at the same time each day, even exercising at the same time too. Set specific times in your day to answer emails, liaise with your team, focus on work and so on. The Pomodoro Technique can be especially useful here. This technique has you focus on work for 25 minutes at a time, helping keep you engaged (and motivated) throughout your day.
Surround yourself with positive, uplifting content
One of the biggest challenges facing us as we return to work is our lack of motivation. Being stuck inside will, naturally, drain your enthusiasm. As such, it’s important to surround yourself with uplifting content that stimulates your working drive.
Podcasts are an obvious source of motivation during your return to work. They are enjoying a resurgence following the easing of lockdown restrictions, especially for those who relied on them to liven up their morning commutes.
An essential for anyone’s playlist is the wonderful Happier With Gretchen Rubin podcast. Its aim is simple: to help you find and create more happiness in your life. Through actionable techniques and guidance, Gretchen helps us create positive habits to help us through these confusing times.
We also recommend adding Marketing Speak to your commute playlist. Ostensibly a marketing podcast, it covers a wide breadth of subjects with interviews from industry pioneers. Their passion, innovative outlook, and inspiration shine through, giving you the motivation not just to return to work, but to hit the ground running too.
No time for podcasts? No problem! The aptly-named The Positivity Blog offers bitesize articles and guides to help you build self-esteem, foster happiness and nurture productivity—perfect for a quick read while the kettle boils.
These are just a few examples, but they exemplify how surrounding yourself with positive noise—in whatever form that may come—can help create a mindset that adjusts better to the return to work.
Don’t neglect the simple value of communication
Finally, one of the best ways to deal with a post-Covid return to work is to simply communicate with colleagues and sector peers.
Everyone has had different experiences of life under lockdown. While some might have found it easy to get used to, many of us have struggled with the myriad issues it brought.
Difficulties with balancing work with childcare, arguments between housemates, intense feelings of loneliness for those who live alone—each situation brings with it different challenges.
This sudden return to the workplace can be a disruptive element. It might be a welcome change from what they’ve experienced for the past few months, or it might add more stress to their lives.
Try to reach out to friends or colleagues before you start just to get a feel for what to expect. The CharityConnect community is a great place for this—you can chat with other charity professionals who’ve experienced the same things and gain valuable insight.
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Once you’re back in the swing of things, encourage your teammates—and yourself—to be open about how you are coping with the return to work. Take time to check-in with your colleagues to find out how they’re dealing with the situation.
This could be in an open forum, such as a team or company meeting, or via one-to-one chats. Don’t force it on your colleagues—if they want to talk, be open to it, but don’t make it mandatory.
If you can, try to set an example by being open about how you are dealing with the return to work. Being the first person to admit you’re struggling is tricky, but it paves the way for others to do the same by creating a safe, positive environment in which to discuss it.
Returning to work after a holiday can be challenging. But returning to work, in whatever form, after months of being in lockdown, can be downright arduous. While employers have an important role to play in helping staff return to work, there are things you can do yourself to make it as smooth and seamless as possible.
Build routine into your day, surround yourself with inspirational content and remember to communicate with your colleagues. These are simple acts, but ones that can make your return to work post-Covid that much easier.
Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsior.