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tips for going back to the office

August 18, 2021

As more workplaces transition back to “normal” life, it’s important to remember that change can be difficult – even if it’s positive. If you’re going back to the office, putting your mental, physical, and emotional wellness first is your priority. Here are a few tips to help you do so mindfully:

Change Your Routine Gradually

If possible, avoid going back to the office “cold turkey.” Instead, set yourself up for success by making smaller changes while you’re still at home. Avoid sleeping through what will be your commute when you return to the office and consider setting your alarm a few minutes earlier each day. Eventually, your internal clock will get used to your old, “back to office schedule.” Similarly, try getting ready (dressing in office-ready attire, doing your makeup, etc.) a few days  per week to  practice your morning routine as it will be when you’re back in the office full-time.

For many people, moving from a collaborative, in-office work environment to a work-from-home routine was a challenge. Going back to the office will be no different, but doing so in degrees will help.

Be Gracious to Yourself

As you get used to your new routine, be mindful of your feelings and discomfort. Give yourself an extra measure of patience as you encounter scenarios you haven’t navigated in more than a year – no matter how trivial they may seem.

Working in an office environment will involve a sudden increase in social, in-person interactions, like meetings and small talk, which can lead to fatigue. While these interactions were “normal” in the past, you may need time to re-adjust to them now – and that’s okay. Just remember that discomfort from change is normal, and your coworkers and friends are going through the same thing you are.

Create Positive Experiences for Yourself

Even if you’re looking forward to going back to the office regularly, gifting yourself a new outfit, a bite from your favorite lunch spot, or a specialty coffee can make the experience better. Additionally, rewarding yourself with small gifts is a great way to recognize that successfully going back to the office isn’t easy, and that you deserve to be proud of yourself. 

Practice Active Mindfulness

Mindfulness helps us become aware of how we interact with the world. As you move from your home office to your “real” office, be mindful of yourself, others, and how you engage with both. Actively seek opportunities to be mindful, like ending the day with gentle yoga or a meditation session. By being mindful, you’ll be taking active steps to make the transition back to working in the office as comfortable and healthy as possible.


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