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Returning to the workplace – a guide for employees

It’s finally happening: After months of waiting, Denmark is starting to re-open after the coronavirus pandemic – and so are physical workplaces. The wait has been very long for some, and less long for others.

Originally intended to be a temporary solution, working from home suddenly became the new normal, bringing with it new daily life and work routines.

Now that we are about to return to the workplace, while many are undoubtedly looking forward to returning, some may find it a bit overwhelming to have to break the routines we have just got used to.

Together with AS3 Stress & Trivsel, we have prepared a guide on how best to return to your workplace.

Download the guide as a pdf (English)

Hent guiden som pdf (dansk)

How to safeguard you well-being when returning to the workplace?

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What should I do if I am nervous about returning to the workplace?

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What have you learned, and what can you take away from this?

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1. What will you take away from this?

Before you return to the familiar surroundings of your workplace, ask yourself the following:

  • What experience have I drawn from my working life during the coronavirus pandemic?
  • What have we learned as a team?
  • What can we do to strengthen our team going forward?

Use these reflections to describe what aspects you would like to keep or change. Be as specific as possible. Share your reflections with your manager.

 

2. Align expectations with your colleagues in your team and your team leader

The pandemic has changed the way we work, and you should therefore align expectations within your team and lay down some ground rules for your ways of working going forward.

How can you work together, when some of you are in the workplace and others at home, for example? How often do your team and your manager expect you to be present in the workplace? Consider giving your meetings special new markings. For example, you could enter "NDN" (No Desk Needed) in the subject line when scheduling a meeting that can be conducted while walking or without being in front of a screen.

 

3. Self-care

Be aware of your own resources and limitations. Changing or establishing routines and habits requires mental resources. During the transition phase, you may feel more tired than usual, which is quite natural. If you are worried, reach out to a colleague or your manager.

Even though you may feel tired, it is a good idea to prioritise social activities in the workplace arranged for you to reconnect. These can boost your energy and strengthen your relations with your team.

 

4. Use your energy on the things you can control

When you return to your workplace, you will probably experience certain changes. Some of these will be easy to embrace, while you will find others more difficult to accept. It takes energy to be frustrated about things you dislike. If changes irritate you, you might consider:

  1. what you can do to change the situation
  2. what you cannot change as such, but you can try to influence (for example by speaking with your manager)
  3. what you cannot change or influence

The things that you can do nothing to change or influence are out of your hands. Use your energy in areas where you can make a difference.

 

5. Take care of each other

Many have mixed feelings about returning to the workplace. Share your thoughts. You are probably not the only one who feels the way you do. Focus on rebuilding relations with your colleagues when you meet again face to face.

If one of your colleagues seems unbalanced, step in and offer help and support. Join in social activities. Take part in chats at the coffee machine and book lunch appointments with colleagues. The social spect is important – not just for the team spirit, but also for your own well-being.

A lot can happen in a year. Does your pension scheme fit your current life situation?