September 10 2021

Are you ready to go back to the office?

Are you excited about going back to the office? Have you missed that morning coffee break with your colleagues? Physical meetings in the same room as people? Have you missed the traffic? How about taking public transport at rush hour? 

A large Microsoft study on the impact of forced work-from-home policies due to the coronavirus pandemic found that “flexible work is here to stay” and that employers who want to retain talented employees should accept the concept of hybrid work even after the current health crisis has passed. 

The report, “The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work — Are We Ready?” advises business leaders to accept that “the last year has fundamentally changed the nature of work.” 

According to a survey, 73% of workers want flexible remote options. According to the study, remote job postings on LinkedIn increased more than fivefold during the pandemic. 

Many of us don’t know the exact date when we’ll return to the physical workplace. Some of our clients know that they’ll be working remotely for the rest of 2021 and others are considering returning at some point in early to mid 2022. As with many things in the last couple of years, there may be feelings of uncertainty that this situation may cause. How will you deal with the changes in front of you and the potential anxiety? 

My own first day back 

Let me describe my own experience as I returned to the office for the first time in August. 

When I woke up in the morning of my first day back in the office, I had that same feeling I used to get when it was my first day back in school after summer holidays. What will it be like? Who will be there? Will there be many changes? A curious mix of excitement and a tinge of anxiety. 

The journey to work was different. There were less people on the metro and lots more signage everywhere. Whether people were paying much attention to the signs and the reminders to wear their mask correctly is a different story. Nevertheless, things seemed a bit less chaotic than they used to be during rush hour. 

As I made my way into my office building, there were signs on the doors and windows reminding you to wear a mask. There was a dispenser with hand sanitiser that smelled like flowers and more signs on the doors of the lift reminding me that a maximum of 4 people could use the lift at any one time. 

By the time I reached my office space, I felt calm, safe and quite happy to be back. I was happy to see some of my colleagues and it felt like another step towards normalcy. The sense of familiarity I felt was something that made me feel a sense of warmth. Wearing a face mask for multiple hours per day at work is not ideal, so I’ll keep my 3 days per week working from home thank you very much! 

Hybrid work is here to stay 

A large Microsoft study on the impact of forced work-from-home policies due to the coronavirus pandemic found that “flexible work is here to stay” and that employers who want to retain talented employees should accept the concept of hybrid work even after the current health crisis has passed. 

The report, “The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work — Are We Ready?” advises business leaders to accept that “the last year has fundamentally changed the nature of work.” 

According to the survey, 73% of workers want flexible remote options and remote job postings on LinkedIn increased more than fivefold during the pandemic. 

We will discuss these topics in a future post, so stay tuned. Good luck with your return to the office, whenever that may be! 

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