First day back nerves? Advice for a successful return to work following COVID-19 lockdowns
How does hot desking work? Do I need a mask? Can I have lunch with my colleagues? The unknown of going back to office life can bring anxiety for many, which is we’re dedicating this newsletter to ease you back to the office.
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5 Key questions for coming back to work after COVID-19 lockdowns.
How does hot desking work?
With flexible working on the rise, many employers are adopting hot desking. This can seem a little daunting; having nowhere permanent to store your work supplies, no guarantee you can sit next to your friends or team. But not all is lost, hot desking can lead to meeting new people in the business and gain a fresh perspective of their role. There’s also the added bonus of starting your day with a clean, fresh desk – which is proven to increase productivity in the workplace.
Do I need to social distance from my colleagues?
We’re all looking forward to seeing our colleagues in the flesh again, but constant changes to the COVID-19 guidelines have left many employees confused over social distancing. Even though 2m social distancing is no longer a necessity across the UK, some business may still adopt a form of social distancing around the office. Speak to your line manager to understand you employers COVID-19 policies.
Remember, before going in to greet your colleague with a hug, ask them how they’re feeling about social distancing as they might have different boundaries compared to yourself.
What if my commute has changed?
In many areas public transport has decreased, and your usual train or bus might not be running. If this is the case and you’re worried about getting to work for the desired time, speak to your line manager. You might be able to change your working hours to suit your commute.
Can I still request flexible working?
If you’ve found you’re working well at home and you don’t feel ready to come back full time, or you want more flexibility, speak to your line manager. You may need to demonstrate how flexible working has increased your productivity or helped your wellbeing. Remember, this is a two-way partnership, and it is important you work with your employer to find the right balance for everyone.
What if I still feel uncomfortable in the office?
The past year has taken its toll on everyone, so don’t feel disheartened if you’re not ready to jump straight back to office life. If you’re feeling unsure about the office, make sure you start a dialog with your manager to see what can be put in place to put you at ease.
Do I need to get a vaccine?
Employers are unable to enforce vaccinations unless you’re working in Care Homes in the UK from 11th November. This includes those required to enter Care Homes for work such as hair stylists, contractors and trainers.
For more information on vaccinations, read our simple guide.
Find out more on how our HR consultants and Health & Safety advisors can help you.