As the months progress, some businesses are beginning to re-open their offices and invite employees back to the workplace. The world is slowly shifting back into its normal routines, but how exactly are we supposed to that? What does “normal” even look like? We wanted to spend time today discussing how to handle the return to the office.
First and foremost, it’s fair to expect a change in policy regarding the day to day health practices of the office space. For example, it may be common to see co-workers wearing masks; it may even be required to do so. You should probably expect to see a lot more hand sanitizer around than you’re used to as well. The office layout may even change (preferably now containing the IA Flex Workstation, designed specifically with social distancing in mind). Simply put, things in the office space aren’t going to look quite like they did a few months ago, and that’s okay! In fact, it’s probably for the best.
So, what if you’re being strongly compelled to return to the office, but don’t feel comfortable doing so? That’s how many Americans are likely feeling, and that’s completely valid. What can you do? Well, for starters, don’t be ashamed to wear a mask. Even if you’re the only person in the office doing it (you almost definitely won’t be), it’s unlikely anyone else is going to care that you are. If you’re feeling uneasy, consider sending an email to your co-workers letting them know your state of mind. Ask them to maintain proper distance from you while in the workspace. Ultimately, just request respect. Any reasonable co-worker will surely have compassion for your situation. Finally, make sure you hold your personal workspace to your standards of cleanliness. If you feel compelled to wipe down your desk, do it. It can’t hurt, and is made even easier on an Iron Age wood top, which can be completely cleaned with just a wet rag and some hand soap.
It’s important to remember that everyone is going through these uncertain times together. Your superiors may make decisions that you don’t agree with, but they’re likely just doing what they think needs to be done in order to keep your company going. The best course of action for every single one of us is to take things one day at a time and remember to have patience and empathy for those around us. We’re all figuring out how to move on together, and a big part of that is getting back to the workplace.