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Getting Back in the Swing

Lessen the hassle of getting back in the office.

By now many of us have been back in the office, or at least a hybrid work situation.

You may have found your creative mojo working from home, and now that you’re back at the office you’re feeling stuck. Sure, you’re glad to see people in person again, but you got used to little or no driving and even little or no business clothing. You took a lunch break guilt-free, and you felt as though you were killin’ it from home and could do it forever.

Your employer, meanwhile, had other ideas. After all, there was an empty building full of workspaces they designed specifically for the job at hand. While the building sat empty, the costs of keeping it up remained. For many, it feels good to have the building fully operational and see faces coming and going again. It’s a sign of a return to normal.

While some thrive with this back-to-work plan, others may falter.

Here are five ways to get out of the return-to-normal rut you have found yourself in.

  1. Allow yourself some grace. It’s not going to feel great for everyone right off the bat to be back to the grind and away from home. Take breaks, step outside the office and into some sunshine.
  2. Update your workspace. Spice up your décor by swapping out photos and frames and bringing in plants. Freshening up your space may make you feel more at home.
  3. Let there be light. You may be missing working in front of that dining room or bedroom window at home that gave you a constant source of light. Being in a windowless cube or office again has an effect on you. Look for a lamp with daylight bulbs, or even consider a seasonal affective disorder light or sun lamp. Your vitamin D levels may be affected by this change, so keep an eye on those too.
  4. Speak honestly. If you are genuinely struggling, your manager may have ideas to help. Whether it’s switching up your hours a bit or allowing you some added flexibility, you owe it to yourself and your boss to discuss how you can come to terms on a schedule that works best for both of you.
  5. Set a date and create an exit plan. Tell yourself if things aren’t feeling better in a certain amount of time, e.g., six months or a year, that you’ll begin to look for new work or even a career change. Setting a date gives you control, which may make you feel better in the short term. As we certainly have learned, a lot of things can change. You may begin to love your job again and find you way out of your rut. Or you may realize it’s time to move on for good.

Good luck to you on your return to normal. And remember, we’re all in this together.

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