If you’re returning to work after spending time on furlough, you’re not alone. While weekly numbers have varied as the economy ebbs and flows, over a quarter of the UK workforce was covered by the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in early June. It’s natural to feel a mixture of emotions as you get ready to go back. Perhaps you’re eagerly anticipating the return of routine and social interaction with your colleagues. At the same time, you could be worried you’ve fallen behind. Or perhaps you’re not comfortable with the remaining health risks? However you’re feeling, below we’ve outlined some simple ways to make your return to work that bit easier.
Get back into a professional routine
In the absence of any professional commitments your days may have lost structure, or you’ve developed an altogether new way of living. Getting at least partly back to your old ways will help the transition feel like less of a shock to your system. Start by getting up and going to bed at similar times like you used to. You may also want to restart wearing appropriate clothes and preparing your meals in advance if you’ve fallen out of practice.
Plan your commute
The daily commute is one element many workers won’t have missed. Consider the logistics to avoid any unnecessary stress on your first day back. Does your bike or car need any repairs if it’s been sat unused? If you usually take public transport, schedules may have changed in light of the current situation. You may even want to review your finances and invest in a car if you think you’d feel more comfortable driving in alone.
Invest in personal hygiene
There are various health and hygiene products you’ll want to stock up on for your return to the new normal. A face covering or mask is now a legal requirement on public transport in many parts of the UK. You may also need to wear it at work, so buy or make enough to allow you to wash them after each use. Hand sanitizer will give you added peace of mind when interacting with doors, machines and other communal objects.
Speak to your team
It’s likely that you’ve kept in touch with your team in at least some capacity during your time away. Speak to those who have continued working to get up to speed with any important business developments and set your expectations around safety measures. Doing so should help you feel more prepared for what’s to come. You can also check the government’s advice on returning to work safely.
Give yourself time to catch up
The last thing you want to do in your first week back is overfill your schedule. Allow yourself time to catch up on admin – you could have a lot of emails to get through − and take regular breaks to avoid burning out. Returning to work in the current climate is bound to feel unfamiliar at first. But by taking the steps above, you’ll be ready to tackle whatever lays in store.
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