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Adapting to change and our return to the office

Sophie Preston
24 May 2022
The below content is written and created by Jess Stuart, an Imposter Syndrome expert who specialises in helping busy, high achievers build confidence, self-awareness, and resilience to realise their potential.

As we move into autumn there’s definitely change in the air. The leaves are starting to fall, the temperature has dropped and we’re all slowly making our way back into the office in a bid to return to pre covid working arrangements. With the country moving into orange and many workplaces insisting on the great return we’re once again changing our routines and adjusting to a new normal.

Many organisations have deemed May the mass return deadline. With a view to bringing back collaboration, contributing to the economy and filling our deserted city centres with the sound of commutes, working lunches and coffee catch ups once more.

For some it’s a welcome means of social interaction, structure and routine but for others it’s another change, another ask of us to adapt and adjust to something different. After spending the last two years adjusting to working from home the upheaval will be felt keenly for those who prefer not to commute, have got very comfortable at home and are now wondering why they need an office and all the challenges that come with it – distractions, increased costs, longer days etc.

Either way we’re all having to adapt again as change comes. As it always does. Just like the seasons and the falling of the leaves. As summer gives way to winter our cosy home based offices are now giving way to a return to the commute. But this is life, change is constant and our need to adapt constantly being tested. With that in mind here’s a few tips to help navigate the next few months:

  1. Know yourself and what you need - from a health perspective but also how you work best. I know I do my best thinking in the morning, I also know as an introvert I need quiet to focus. I’m also aware that I need to get out in nature and stretch my legs when i’ve been sitting at a desk for too long. Keeping an eye on how we feel and knowing what we need gives us the ability to respond to our changing moods and energy levels and stay at our best.
  2. Keep a track on your energy levels. I love checking in with myself and doing an energy audit. It helps me know when to expect my best and when to back off. Knowing how I feel gives me a better chance of making good choices on what to do next.
  3. Reflect: What did you learn over the last couple of years? How can you keep some of what you enjoyed, how can you use it as an opportunity to change some of what you didn’t?
  4. Structure and routine is key, plan your days, set up your calendar so you control it not the other way around.
  5. Organise your work accordingly: where possible deep work for days at home undisturbed, team work for days in the office with others.
  6. Make the most of the commute: if you’re going to be out of the house why not stack on to those days the shopping, catching up with friends for lunch, gym on the way home, hair appointments etc.
  7. Know that change is a constant and give yourself time to adjust. It’s normal if it feels like an upheaval so go easy on yourself during those first two weeks, it might feel more tiring as we adapt to the change in routine, getting up earlier and having more to think about.

Whilst we’ll all have different feelings about the return to the office as we head into winter know that we’re united by the fact we’re adapting to another change is circumstance and routine but just as the seasons change so do we. Those, like me, who are sad to see the summer go can look forward to cosy night in front of the fire instead. What are the silver linings in your change? Getting out of the house, booking a trip overseas, or getting to dress up again! We’re all different so know that your experience is valid but it may not be the same as those you work alongside.

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