So… you’ve got that official email from work and you’re heading back into the office. You’ve lived and worked in the same bubble for months now and it feels safe, secure and familiar. What does the office look like now? Can you sit at our usual desks? Can you still get a cup of coffee the normal way?
The important thing to know is, if you are feeling a bit unsure about returning, you’re not alone. A recent survey stated that 2 in 5 of us are feeling nervous about returning to the office. The conversations around mental health are becoming more and more common in the world of work and 60% of employees say they’d feel more likely to recommend their organisation as a good place to work if their employer took action to support mental wellbeing.
Our Everyday Essentials Account Managers have always worked very closely with our customers and we know they have worked tirelessly to make your office as safe and welcoming as possible. We know that there are many different ways that employers are striving to achieve this goal but if you’re still not sure about returning, we have put together some top tips to help you ease back in on your first day.
Day one and the office is looking a little bit different. There’s a one-way system and certain desks are out of use but its safe and secure which is what you were hoping for. Give your desk a clean with the wipes provided for peace of mind and you’re set to go!
For a lot of people, the morning doesn’t start until they’ve had their morning cup of tea or coffee. Bring your own mug to work if you’re still not sure about sharing communal mugs. Most, if not all, companies should be able to offer touch-free hot drink machines and individually enveloped teas so enjoy them! The breakout space might not look the same but it is still a great place to bump into those colleagues who aren’t on your direct team for a quick catch up!
Market trends show that if we want a mid-morning snack, we commonly pick a healthier option. Over the last couple of years, we have witnessed a huge surge in companies offering a range of fresh fruit to their staff. Recent events have naturally put a pin in that but as offices reopen, the alternatives are to offer peelable fruit only baskets or individually wrapped healthy snacks in particular, products that contribute to your daily vitamin intake. Now you’re feeling ready for your team meeting.
You’ve just finished your first face-to-face meeting with the other members of your team and you’ve all almost forgotten how good it is to be together in a room. The ‘raise your hand’ feature in Teams is good but doesn’t compare to having you all in a room collaborating like this. You’ve had a good catch up, mentioned how easy the commute was this morning and obviously you had to talk about the serious stuff too. Just because your spreadsheets are boring, doesn’t mean your lunch has to be!
It’s felt like a long day. You’ve been staring at that same spreadsheet for an hour and you miss your dog – the world’s best dog, if you may say so yourself. So, it is absolutely time for a mid-afternoon cup of tea (maybe a green or fruit tea this time) and a snack. But this time, your mouth will start watering for the taste of something sweet and maybe a little bit naughty. For you that could be some chocolate coated almonds or a bag of your favourite sweets, either are both well deserved.
Day one comes to an end and now that you’ve got a good routine, you’re happy to do it again. Wash your hands of the workday (both metaphorically and literally), put your company-branded mask on if you’re travelling on public transport or a car share and go home!
Although every workplace is unique and will face its own challenges, we all have very similar objectives at the moment and our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff. Express HQ has been open throughout so that we can keep our warehouse fully operational for you. The remainder of our office staff will be back from 1st September and we are looking forward to seeing everyone’s faces again!
“People will be experiencing a range of feelings and emotions returning back to the office after working from home for the last 6 months. It may be excitement being back at their workplace and seeing colleagues face to face again, anxiety around using public transport to get to the office or frustration at other colleagues for not following the rules around social distancing. It will take everyone time to readjust to being back in the office and getting used to a new way of working. During this transition it is important for everyone to continue to look after their mental health and wellbeing and discuss any concerns with their manager.”
Caroline McGoohan, Hertfordshire Mind Network (Charity Partner of Express Vending)
If you would still like more information about returning to the office, returning from furlough or balancing the work-life balance whilst WFH, please see the link below from Mind:
If you would like to hear more about distance selection technology for your coffee machines or anything available from our Everyday Essentials department to help you achieve your new workplace goals, please get in touch here.
Written by Annalise Mason, Everyday Essentials Account Manager