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February 27, 2024

4 Tips for Successfully Transitioning from Remote to In-Office Worker

4 Tips for Successfully Transitioning from Remote to In-Office Worker

If you’re like millions of other workers in North America, you may have recently received notice that your company wants you back in the office, either full time or part time.

With this news comes mixed emotions. No one looks forward to the daily grind of commuting and figuring out what business casual means. But reconnecting with work besties in person and enjoying the fully-stocked breakroom isn’t awful.

But what about those who entered the work force during the lockdown part of the pandemic? This will be their first time working in an officie environment. And even though office veterans assume office etiquette is common sense, how can you understand how to navigate a system you’ve never experienced? 

As well, office etiquette protocols, which seemed normal a few years ago, may not make sense anymore. We can’t just assume we’ll settle back in and things will go back to normal (whatever that means). 

Four tips for making a smooth transition from WFH to working in the office

It may all be a blur now, but if you think back to early 2020, there were some distinct growing pains when we all suddenly had to work and study from home. Change is always hard, and going back to the office will be like reverse culture shock for many people.

Whether it has been a while or this is your first foray into office life, here are some simple tips for successfully making the transition back to in-office work. 

1. Dress appropriately 

Ultra-casual wear works when you’re alone in your home office, but it doesn’t cut it in a professional office environment where everyone can see your bottom half. Now is the time to assess your wardrobe and stock up on office-appropriate clothing essentials. 

What is business casual? Start with these best practices:

  • Ditch leggings or jogging pants for stretchy dress pants
  • Wear dress shoes with memory foam insoles
  • Choose well-fitted cardigans or coats to keep you warm (don’t forget about how cold AC can get!) while still looking professional
  • Remember: neutral basics go with everything

When dressing for an office setting, reach for your more professional-looking pieces and leave the oversized, super short, or ripped clothes at home! 

2. Practice good communication 

Being in the office means you’ll now be balancing in-person meetings, conversations, and presentations with virtual meetings, conversations, and presentations. Plus there’s the added social interactions you’ll face throughout the day.

Working from home allowed many of us to detach from informal day-to-day interactions. Going back to an office environment may reveal that we’re a bit rusty in that particular area. Good communication skills can go a long way in an office to strengthen relationships and even though it’s not directly related to your job in most cases, it can make your job (and youre life) more bearable while you’re in the office. 

Here are three tips for improving your casual communication skills: 

3. Be considerate of others 

Leaving the comfort of your home office means getting reacquainted with how to share space and resources. Being cooperative and considerate in an office environment helps maintain a harmonious and enjoyable work experience as much as possible. 

Of course many people share their homes with family members or roommates but the level of consideration is different. While you may not think twice about heating up fish in your microwave at home, this is not something that will be appreciated at the office. And a messy desk? Not something you want to have at the office.

Here are three additional tips for being considerate around your co-workers:

  • Respect personal space and boundaries both physical and social
  • Be conscientious of your voice and noise level when chatting with co-workers, taking phone calls and playing audio on your devices
  • Keep common areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, lounges and workstations clean. Wash your dishes, dispose of your trash and leave shared spaces tidy 

We all know what happened when Ross’ co-worker ate his sandwich…so to avoid unnecessary conflicts in the office, consider how your actions could affect the people around you. 

4. Mind your manners 

Practicing good manners isn’t just for children. Showing respect and courtesy to one another helps foster healthy working relationships and a positive atmosphere. 

Here are a few simple tips for being a polite co-worker:

  • Be punctual! Honouring commitments, deadlines, and being on time for meetings shows your respect for others and that you value their time 
  • Express gratitude! A simple “thank you” or a compliment can make all the difference in someone’s day 
  • Proactively resolve conflict! Offices have HR departments for a reason. If you’re in a difficult interpersonal situation, follow the proper channels of conflict resolution and deal with it as soon as possible
  • Avoid gossiping! As much as it may feel like your work family is your actual family, they’re not. Don’t vent or use negative language around other co-workers and aim to use uplifting language as much as possible 

We hope these tips will help your transition back to the office easier for you and your colleagues. 

Robyn Roste

Robyn Roste is a professional writer with blogging, marketing and tourism experience. She also has a bachelor of journalism and diplomas in media and communications and biblical studies.

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