While the return to safe workspaces will need to be a gradual, devised approach, some businesses will be in a position to have their staff return in the coming weeks.

Here are some practical ways to make your transition back to working in the office just a little bit easier. For more advice on leading your team through the first few weeks back in the office, our blog covers five easy ways to show your support while continuing to drive business objectives and growth.

Get back into a routine

For nearly two months, we've enjoyed some freedoms we wouldn't typically have when working in an office. A great way to mentally prepare for your return to work is to get back into the small routines, so that they don't overwhelm you when the time comes.

Start small with these; set your alarm clock for the same time you'd normally need to wake to be at the office on time, or pack a lunch and set aside a normal lunch break each day. These may seem menial, but they all add up. You'll find it far easier to reintegrate with your team and colleagues if you've already become used to your own routine again.

Set new, achievable goals

Some professionals may feel that working from home has stagnated their professional growth, or perhaps this time away from the buzz of the office has reignited a passion in them – one they'd like to pursue. Remote managers may have put personal growth and development on the backburner to facilitate working longer hours. They have also likely been supporting colleagues and enduring heavier workloads once carried by now furloughed teammates.

Reigniting that passion for development can be the exact boost you need to build momentum and keep you motivated. This could be the ideal time to consider management training courses to refresh and boost your skillset and management style.

Take some time to plan

To prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, and to help keep your teams' focus on upcoming projects, set aside some time to draw up a clear plan for the next couple of months. This can include project scopes, meetings, brainstorming sessions – everything you'd need to get the wheels rolling again. Having a plan in place can ease anxieties and help keep distractions away. Asana is a great tool to collaboratively plan projects, assign them to team members, and to track progress and hours.

Reward yourself

As a manager and leader, you've likely taken more strain during lockdown. Realise the challenges that you've faced and accept that you may need some well-deserved down time, or a bit of a reward. Explore the best ways to reward yourself, and other management staff, and allow room for a mental recharge – whether this is simply treating yourself to a delicious takeaway coffee, a new book or even a manicure. It's important to look after yourself so you can keep giving the best version of yourself each day.

Catch up with colleagues

The best way to lead your team from the front is to be familiar with their headspace. Scheduling catch ups will give you the opportunity to gauge their state of mind, and help you identify anyone who may need a bit more assistance. It will also help you identify anyone who could help you lead the team back to reintegration. A buddy system is worth considering as a way of helping your entire team through the transition period.

Also consider scheduling some time in with your managers; just as you need to support your team, you'll need some support from your own management. Make your concerns clear, highlight how well you've performed under the circumstances and ask for any additional resources you may need in order to keep moving forward.

While it's important you continue to lead your own team through the reintegration period, don't forget to look after yourself as well. The only way to give the best version of yourself is to take the necessary steps to ensure you have the right tools and resilience to lead by example.

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