Prepare Yourself for In-Person Work

Returning to the office after two years of remote work can stir up a mix of feelings. It might be a bit challenging, but there are ways to reconnect with your coworkers and build positive energy.

Accepting Change:

  • Things will look different, and you might feel a mix of anxiety and excitement. It’s normal to experience a bit of culture shock. Instead of comparing the current situation to pre-Covid times, focus on the present and find the positive aspects.

Giving Yourself Time:

  • Adjusting to office life will take time. If you’ve been mostly alone or socializing in small groups, it’s okay to skip large lunches or happy hours initially. Consider arriving at work a bit earlier to avoid morning rush hours. Be patient with yourself and your coworkers, as everyone is adapting to a new normal.

Creating a New Routine:

  • Going back to the office will change your daily schedule. Be intentional about maintaining positive habits, like meditation or exercise. Your morning routine may feel less leisurely, so give yourself extra time to avoid feeling frantic. Communicate your routine, stay organized, and be consistent.

Relating to Coworkers In-Person:

  • To rebuild working relationships, focus on attunement, which involves being aware of your own state of mind and body when connecting with others. Practice these elements regularly:
  1. Prepare Your Nervous System:
    • Before meetings, take a moment to relax your body, breathe, and tune into your surroundings. This can help you feel present and grounded.
  2. Acknowledge Anxiety:
    • If you feel anxious, practice focused breathing and avoid getting caught up in anxious thoughts. This can reduce the duration of anxiety.
  3. Listen Actively:
    • Make the other person’s cues a priority. Check in with your own feelings, drop your shoulders, and return your attention to the person you’re interacting with.
  4. Practice Empathy:
    • See the world through the other person’s eyes. Ask questions to understand their perspective. Display a willingness to hear their experiences.
  5. Express Interest:
    • Meet the other person where they are emotionally and mentally. Practice active listening, maintain eye contact, and avoid interrupting. Show genuine interest in their agenda.

Reconnecting with coworkers in person is about attunement, not perfection. By incorporating these practices, you can have a positive impact on your relationships and create a more connected work environment.

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