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Missed and Anticipated – The Shift from Home Working

Person Pyjamas Work
01 October 2021 | Updated 04 October 2021

With "Freedom Day" on the 19th of July having come and gone, many offices can expect an influx of staff. However how prepared are those, that have enjoyed the comforts of working from home, for a change of routine?

A new study by Office Furniture Online recently delved into workers' attitudes towards heading back to the office, including what they’ll miss most about the alternative, alongside what they’re looking forward to about their return.


“If you’re a business leader, consider making your staff feel welcome when they come back to the office.”

“Ask them about their concerns, and how you can make the transition as easy as possible for them.”


– Mark Taylor
Managing Director, Office Furniture Online



To Be Missed and Anticipated


According to the findings, some of the top things workers will miss most about working from home are as follows:

  1. No commute – 49 per cent
  2. Lie-ins/getting up later than usual – 42 per cent
  3. Peace and quiet – 41 per cent
  4. Working in their pyjamas – 28 per cent
  5. Spending more time with their pets – 26 per cent

One in 10 also stated they’ll miss seeing other people’s pets on Zoom calls.

Looking at the things workers are most looking forward to ahead of their return, although 15% state they’re not looking forward to anything, for those that are, some of the top factors include:

  1. Office gossip and banter – 35 per cent
  2. After work socials including drinks – 31 per cent
  3. Big, collaborative meetings – 18 per cent
  4. Perks such as free food – 17 per cent
  5. Escaping their childcare responsibilities – 14 per cent


Making a Smooth Transition


It’s no secret that many workers may feel a little anxious ahead of their return to the office, with many having worked from home for nearly 18-months now. Julian Hall is co-founder of My Internal World, a web-based service that helps people to assess, improve and sustain their emotional health – she shared three simple tips to help workers best prepare.


1. Pre-book Face to Face Meetings


Make it your mission to reconnect and have physical meetings with those you have missed. It’s so much better to start the return to the office with pleasurable meetings to look forward to. Think of this as the first day at work when part of your settling in was building rapport with fellow workers.


2. Make Yourself Aware of the New Office Rules


Before your return, you should be informed of the new rules your office space has implemented to ensure the safety of its staff. Take some time to familiarise yourself with the new rules and communicate any questions or concerns you might have with your employer. By doing so, this will ensure you’re mentally prepared for how the office may have changed when you return. 


3. Breathe


Use breathing to manage your emotions. Before retreating into anxiety or rising to fight because of restrictions or behaviour you do not agree with, stop, spend 60 seconds focusing on your breathing. This has two advantages; you are engaging your parasympathetic nervous system and starting to lower the adrenaline in your system, and you are giving yourself time to respond rather than react.


Taking Time to Consider All Factors


“Returning to the workplace will be a shock to the system for many, however, workers mustn’t rush the process," said Mark Taylor, Managing Director of Office Furniture Online. "Many employers will have set out a phased return policy for employees to help ease them back, therefore it’s important this is read before your return, so you’re fully aware of the changes, and what’s expected of you in terms of working days within the workplace.

“The return of the commute is also a factor to be considered," he continued. "Having not experienced the daily commute for such a long time now, a trial run will help to determine how long the commute may take, or whether there’s an easier route that can be taken. This will also benefit those who started a new role during the lockdown and haven’t travelled to the office yet. Each of these preparations will hopefully help to relieve the first day nerves which we’re all bound to feel.

“If you’re a business leader, consider making your staff feel welcome when they come back to the office, with a welcome basket, or a (safety conscious) team event like a BBQ or picnic. Ask them about their concerns, and how you can make the transition as easy as possible for them.”


Picture: a person working on a laptop perched on their bed wearing pyjamas.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 01 October 2021


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