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Going back to a physical workspace after isolation could be one of the most difficult things we’ll face this year, but as different regions slowly start to open up again, it’s a reality most of us will be faced with soon. You may have lots of questions: How do I get used to being away from home again? Will my family dynamic change? Do I have to go back to work after the pandemic?

While the transition back to work may be awkward, uncomfortable or even scary for some, there are ways to make the process slightly easier. Here are some ways to promote your physical and mental health and productivity, and improve interactivity in the workplace.

Image: Getty

Take it slow

You’ve been away from your work desk for so long now, it’ll probably feel a little alien sitting there and not at your kitchen table, but there’s no rush to get everything back to normal. Make lists, take breaks, treat one task at a time, anything that will help ease you back into office life. If you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, speak to a member of your HR team on how it might be possible to phase your return to work, to help you acclimatise better.

Encourage social interaction

Can you remember the last time you went out for after-work drinks with your favourite work buddies? While you might not be able to do this just yet, have lunch with a colleague while sitting at a comfortable distance, or if you’re lucky enough to have a lounge area where you can all unwind safely, take advantage of it.

Speak up about your anxieties

Anything, from seeing your colleagues after so many months to the daily commute to the office, could cause you to break out in a sweat or even become irritable. You should speak to someone you trust about your anxieties, to help keep your mind in a healthy state.

Consider your options

The world and the way we work have changed, and our lives have right with it. Your company may already have offered you the option of working from home for the foreseeable future, but if not – and should you desire it – speak to an approachable manager or HR representative about the possibility of remote work. Chances are your employer(s) have become more flexible and open to negotiation in this season.

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