Get Rid of Your Back-To-The-Office Blues Once and For All

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

With the new year just starting, the struggle to get back to a routine is real.

It’s as real as the upcoming hurdles — going back to waking up early, making it to the office on time (if you’ll be back), and meeting the now almost-outlandish deadlines.

But regardless of what everyone around you says, the new year period still remains an excellent time for self-reflection, readjusting and recalibrating.

So whether that means creating New Year resolutions or not, take the opportunity to start afresh or start better than ever before.

And sorry to burst your bubble but if you are going back to the office after a vacation or after months of remote working, it’ll be really hard to escape any form of resolution-y self-reflection.

Don’t fight it.

Embrace it.

Embrace it because that might be the only way to chase away your back-to-the-office blues.

But don’ worry.

We’ve made the whole process a lot easier, by putting together a survival kit just for you.

So whether you are an office manager who has finally gotten used to working around pets or kids or a software developer who enjoys working remotely with the chance to travel often, here is how you can get back to the office without feeling the pinch.

1. There’s no such thing as being too open-minded

In the kind of era we are in, your team may now be a couple of things by now: slightly different, completely new, re-shuffled or (sorry) totally replaced.

It can be challenging to adjust to new people for the first few days, weeks or even months. So vow to face it all with an open mind.

And at this point, it might be worth mentioning that it would be best to be open-minded about the kind of open-mindedness we are referring to here.

Step in ready not just to meet new people but to experience new systems, new collaborations, new schedules and new rules.

Don’t feel overwhelmed or left out.

Look at the positive side of things — those new developments will be a great new way to upgrade your skills and portfolio. Instead of feeling dejected, soak it all up with an adventurous spirit and new determination to grow.

Photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash

That’s the spirit of the times.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen. And “anything” is a concept that doesn’t mix too well with closed minds.

“Those who can’t change their minds can’t change anything.”

— George Bernard Shaw

So here’s one small thing you can do to open your mind a little more

Sit back and think about (heck, even write down) your most strongly-held belief.

Done?

Now try and think of a fact (true or made up) that could come in and shift that belief completely.

That little exercise right there could crack open or create even a little crack on that one belief you held onto so strongly.

And thanks to it, you’ll be a nice distance inside the wonderful land of open-mindedness.

2. A schedule without time for conversation and collaboration isn’t good enough

Have you gotten to a place where you truly enjoy working online alone, in your own space and in the zone?

Okay, maybe you are the kind that doesn’t yet enjoy it.

But you are now used to it or just getting used to it. So going back to the office would mean yet another shift in your normal.

Whatever the case, look at it this way.

You are human. And that means you are a social animal and social interactions are good for your health — especially your mental health. This is true whether you are extroverted or introverted.

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

So going back to the office is actually good for your health!

It means getting more opportunities for conversations and collaborations. And since you’ll be a bit of out practice like most people, take every chance you can to do more and more of it.

Add it all to your schedule but, of course, make sure it’s not taking away from your to-do list, but enriching it even further.

“As much as we complain about other people, there is nothing worse for mental health than a social desert.”

Charles Montgomery

So here’s one small thing you can do to get better at conversations and collaborations

Figure out an appropriate duration of time (daily, weekly or monthly) for which you’ll do a small reflection exercise on your conversations and collaborations at work.

You can do it simply with these two questions:

  • When collaborating, how do you make others feel by your words or actions?
  • When collaborating, how can I do better with my words or actions?

3. The future is bright. Keep it that way with some optimism.

Going back to the office might have you worrying about uncertainties of the future.

But too much of an exploration into possibilities and what-ifs is bound to lead to negative thinking.

So resist the temptation and choose to look on the bright side.

If you are a team leader, you’ll have another important mission. To motivate your team and also make them optimistic about the future and what’s to come.

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

This might mean pulling from you know, what you think, what you believe and what’s out there in terms of upcoming trends and market shifts.

“Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.”

Nicholas M. Butler

So here’s one small thing you can do to rev up your optimism engine

If you’re having trouble with consistent negative thoughts, expecting the worst, or feeling powerless, try this simple but powerful exercise for a few days or many more, if you’d like.

Train your brain to be more optimistic by writing down three things that went well at the end of each day.

Simple, right?

But powerful, nonetheless.

4. Sometimes old routines need to be broken so that new ones can shine through

Going back to the office might be a drag simply because you are thinking of going back to your old ways.

Maybe you are thinking of getting back to some old habits with which you have a love-hate relationship.

But remember this — you can change them!

Re-working or fixing old habits should be your priority, else they can become hurdles to your creativity, organization, and overall success.

This is especially important for working parents who need to pre-work a daily schedule before going back to the office.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

Pre-planning your meals, going to bed early, and having enough rest are all critical to ensuring you can give 100% at work.

Not a working parent? No problem. You can also choose to shift some routines and habits to give way to new ones.

Just a smidge of newness is enough to evoke some excitement about going back to work.

“You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it.”
James Clear

So here’s one small thing you can do to shift those old routines

When it comes to this, James Clear says it way better than we ever could. He suggests a simple four-question review for any newness directed to an old habit or routine.

Simply ask yourself:

  1. How can I make the change obvious?
  2. How can I make the change attractive?
  3. How can I make the change easy?
  4. How can I make the change satisfying?

Once you figure these out, you’ll be golden.

No more blues, right? Time to paint the office red ;)

Above all the blues or mixed feelings, going back to the office is new.

And new can be exciting.

You can make it so. That’s whether you are going back to the office fully or in a hybrid fashion.

Just remember that getting back to the office means meeting new people, forming new connections, trying new systems and making the most of every new opportunity that can take you a step further in your career.

So how about some real excitement for a change?

Happy officing!

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Want to know more about how to make the back-to-the-office exodus easier or how to integrate the proper communications systems for your hybrid team? Visit www.telebu.com

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