What to Expect When You Return to the Office

(StatePoint) As life returns to normal, many companies and organizations are heading back to the office using a hybrid model or are beginning to talk about doing so.

Under these plans, employees split their time between working in-person and working from anywhere, and if your employer has announced this will be happening soon, you may be feeling apprehensive about the transition. Here are a few things to expect:

• Flexible workspaces: With fewer employees coming to work in-person at any given time, your company may reduce the size of the physical office as a cost-saving measure. Whereas you may have previously been assigned a personal workstation, you may now find your company “hot-desking,” in which workstations are shared and used by different employees at different times.

• New tech tools: Employees can expect to see new tech tools enter the picture, according to experts.

“Tools that provide business leaders with insights, not oversight, and build out on the tools your company already uses, are going to smooth out communication, collaboration and workflow issues during the transition,” says Michele Havner, director of marketing at Eturi, the maker of Motiv, an app for small- and mid-sized businesses. 

In the case of Motiv, a mobile dashboard that delivers important productivity metrics to CEOs, managers and leaders, the tech integrates with Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. Because team leaders are provided with information like conference call activity and email summaries, they are able to more effectively manage their hybrid workforce. Available through the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, you can learn more by visiting motivapp.com.

• Watercooler talk: Some people will return to the office ready to pick up right where they left off, scheduling lunches, coffees and happy hours with their colleagues, whom they consider friends. For others, the in-person socialization that was once a staple of office life may take longer to adjust to. Know that everyone will have their own feelings about returning to the office and try to be empathetic to others, wherever they stand on the issue.

• Additional change: As your employer learns what is and isn’t working with the new hybrid model, they may make additional adjustments in the weeks and months ahead. Whether it’s introducing a new rule that all staff members be in the office every Monday, or the addition of a weekly team meeting every Wednesday morning, being prepared for such potential changes can help you avoid being thrown off guard down the line.  

After over a year of working from home, the prospect of returning to the office can be exciting, nerve-wracking or both. Knowing how and why things may look different from pre-pandemic office life can help you prepare for the new, new normal.

Photo Credit: (c) AndreyPopov / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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