Return to the office

After 4 months of working from home every day and some of us balancing home schooling on top of that too, there was a tentative desire to start stepping back into the office and be back together again.  It feels that the tables have turned and now the office space is the sanctuary we are looking for, the place we can meet up with other colleagues (socially distanced of course), to have a conversation that isn’t through a Zoom or Teams portal, to have some peace away from our kids and/or partners (or is that just me?), to start slowly stepping forward and finding out our new social boundaries.

We’ve only just started our journey into returning to the office, and currently most of us are just going in for one day a week. I was in for the first time just recently with Gina and Karl and it was heavenly. However, I’ll admit now, that first day wasn’t my most productive day. It was exciting being in the same space with two other people, having conversations (about food mainly – some things don’t change). It was also tiring – it was like being a toddler again after too much interaction and I probably had the best night’s sleep that night than I’d had in ages.

For me personally being back in the office with other people the last couple of weeks has had a huge positive impact on my mental health. Having real social interactions with people, a feeling of purpose and just that small separation between work and home all made me feel ‘normal’.

I’m aware that not everyone will feel the same emotions as me and instead will still possibly find it an anxious time. I want the team to feel supported in whatever decision they make about returning to the office so every step will be taken gradually allowing everyone to return at their own speed/comfort level.

There will be stumbling blocks I’m sure and times when I get things wrong, but as a team we’ll learn what works for us and what doesn’t and keep adapting as we always have to whatever the next challenge is.

How are you all finding the journey returning to the office? What lessons have you learned? How are you doing thing differently now? Any tips would be very welcome.

Karen Walsh, Director

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