Over the past year, thousands of people across the country have had to learn how to work from home. At first, it may have seemed like an exciting novelty. You get to complete your work on your own time without your boss breathing down your neck, and as an added bonus you can wake up an hour later too. But over time, you may have started to get sick of the isolation and the lack of fresh air.
With the government restrictions set to end over the next few months, many employees will be starting to go back to work soon. For most people, this will be a welcome return to some sense of normality, but others will understandably be feeling a little anxious. Perhaps the prospect of sitting on a crowded train or sharing co-working spaces with potentially infected people fills you with dread. We’ve heard news stories about employers and companies not following coronavirus regulations, and you don’t want this to happen to you.
So what can you do about it?
Although there’s little you can do personally to eradicate the virus, there are steps you can take to give yourself some peace of mind. By following these three tips, you will be able to return to work as safely as possible and not have to worry about a thing.
Talk to your employer
Before you head back into the office, it’s a good idea to have a chat with your boss about your worries. An understanding employer will be happy to listen to your concerns and they will be able to outline all the steps they are taking to keep people safe. If you are not happy with the precautions taken, this is your opportunity to offer suggestions for what more could be done, such as a new seating arrangement, hand sanitiser at workspaces, or a regular Covid-19 test for staff.
Avoid public transport
If you usually take a train or bus to work, you are constantly surrounding yourself with strangers, some of whom may be infected without knowing it. If it’s possible for you to travel by another mode of transport, you can eliminate this worry entirely. Perhaps you could drive to work until you feel safe again, or share a car with your partner. If your workplace is close enough you could even get your daily exercise at the same time by cycling, running or walking to the office. If none of these is an option for you, why not travel into the office before rush hour? This way, the train carriage will be empty and you can use your extra time in the office to eat breakfast, read a book, or do a quick workout before your day begins.
Communicate with your coworkers
Everyone has different comfort levels around social distancing, so there’s a good chance you will see coworkers happily touching each other or sitting too close. If the behaviour of other people in the office bothers you, talk to them about it and ask them politely to be more respectful of your concerns. If you don’t want to risk a confrontation, you can always bring your worries to your employer.