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16 Sep

Returning to the Office After Lockdown

When we were told to pack up our workstation and migrate home for the foreseeable future, we were all a little dumbfounded. Not knowing what the future held for us, we all adapted to the situation and set up an “office” at home in any free space we could find.

Our first day out of the office and attempting to work from home may have been a struggle for some (especially those with little ones in the house wondering why everyone was at home on a school day!) but lockdown presented us with an opportunity to find different ways of working, without our colleagues and managers there to lend a hand or keep us motivated.

Why we prefer being back in the office

Being in the office makes us feel like we are in more of a routine, rather than just walking downstairs to sit at a makeshift workstation all day. Leaving the house and travelling to and from work breaks up the day more and stops it from feeling like one big blur. Working at home can prove challenging, particularly if no one else in the household is working too. If others in the house are watching TV, cooking or just pottering around, this can be very distracting and affect concentration. Being surrounded by colleagues who are speeding through their workload can be motivational in itself.

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Being back in the office while in a pandemic

Returning to the office whilst in a pandemic is not as scary as you might think. From sitting 2 metres apart to cleaning workstations frequently, we are doing everything in our power to stay as safe as we can. Our office has numerous sanitising stations, and everyone has their own hand sanitiser to keep at their desks. Each member of the team has been moved so we are all at a 2-metre distance from each other. With sanitising wipes to hand, we are all able to clean our workstations as frequently as we feel is necessary. So as weird as it may feel returning to the office during a pandemic, it is actually just like normal with extra precautions.

Virtual VS Face to Face Communication

The majority of us developed a virtual relationship with our colleagues and clients during lockdown. Online communication is very different from face to face communication as we are sometimes unable to determine the context of the information that has been sent to us. Mistaking the context can lead to confusion and tasks becoming more challenging, taking longer to overcome.

We may also feel more comfortable asking questions more often when face to face because it’s quicker and easier than sending an email or message every time we need information or help with something. Asking questions, no matter how minor they are, allows us to overcome challenges in our work and develop our knowledge. Face to face communication enables us to gain information faster and develop a better relationship with our colleagues and clients.

Virtual relationships seem to develop quicker than face to face due to how easy it is to get in contact with each other. Instead of arranging a meeting with a client or even a member of staff which would occupy more time we can simply slot in a 5 minute catch up on Zoom. This method allows us to connect with people more frequently and easily.

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Is it too soon to go back?

Are you back in the office or are you still working from home? For some people, it can feel like it’s too soon, and are worried about it being unsafe. That’s okay. At Dolia, we’ve tried to make our office as safe as possible, and your workplace should be doing the same. We’re all navigating these strange times together so if you’re apprehensive about returning to the office, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or colleague.

As we work through this “new normal” of face masks and hand sanitiser everywhere, we hope you are able to stay productive, motivated and mentally healthy at work, whether that’s in the office or at home.

Alice

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Dolia Design Ltd
The Old Coach House
The Avenue, Farleigh Wallop
Basingstoke RG25 2HT

01256 536 080

info@doliadesign.co.uk

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