Working from home has been a learning curve for individuals and employers alike across Australia. Due to the continued enforcement of social distancing rules, many have grown accustomed to the lifestyle of working remotely. In doing so, we all have inevitably picked up new habits along the way, to align with the new world we live in. However, this is all about to change – again.

As the COVID-19 threat slowly subsides, the time to make the move back to the workplace slowly approaches, if it has not already. After working remotely for several months, you need to be prepared for a seismic shift in your daily routine, as well as aware of how certain things may be different upon your return to the office. This shift can be shocking, overwhelming even, if you are not ready.

To make the transition back to the workplace just that bit easier for you, we have provided 4 helpful tips for employees to prepare for the return to work, but not as you know it.

1. Re-establish Routine

Working from home, it is easy to fall into some bad habits regarding your everyday conduct. For example, you may not exactly have been dressing up in full suit and tie each day, or you might have begun daring to wake up much closer to the start of your shift than you usually would. To make the move back to your workplace less disorienting, start reintroducing good habits and practices slowly into your daily routine again. Small changes such as getting up a few minutes earlier and earlier each day until you’ve slowly transitioned back to your typical work-wake up time will reduce the impact of the change. You could also try implementing an earlier bedtime, or simply start to put more effort into your personal presentation each day e.g. style your hair and choose an appropriate work outfit. Ensure that throughout the day you are continuing to eat well and at the right times, taking breaks when you typically would in the office. Any small adjustments you make to your routine now that are reminiscent of your old working habits will aid you tremendously in a time of drastic change, and ultimately help smooth your transition back into the working lifestyle.

2. Know the Rules

Before you step foot inside your old work building, make sure you are up to date on all the latest COVID-19 restrictions, laws and updates, for the sake of your workmates and the wellbeing of others. Continue the use of personal protective equipment (masks, gloves etc) where possible, or ask your employers to assist in implementing them into the workplace. Remain the legal social distance of 1.5 metres apart, inside the workplace, and out. Think about how your social interactions may be different from now on – for example, handshakes are a thing of the past. Brainstorm solutions as to how you may greet others sensibly when placed back in a professional environment; you could wave from afar, nod your head in acknowledgement or bump elbows for a more friendly alternative – no hand-to-hand contact necessary.

To find out the latest information regarding the COVID-19 situation, read here.

3. Reach Out

Some colleagues you may not have interacted with in person for months. To then suddenly be back in such a social environment as the office will be overwhelming for the best of us. Social distancing has been a great solution to the global pandemic crisis; however, not so great for the mental health and social aptitude of individuals. While you may have grown accustom to seeing your friends, family, and colleagues online in settings such as Zoom, it can never stimulate the effect of being there in person. Because the restrictions have started to lift, we suggest that you slowly start to reintroduce social interactions into your daily lifestyle. Visit your family members for meals, keep the conversation going with your peers, and finally, ask your work mates to coffee catch ups or something similar. This will break down the barrier that has been up for majority of the year, and help ease you back into the normality and familiarity of teamwork.

4. Maintain Good Practices

Previously it was a heroic, if not expected act, to brave through any illness by still showing up to work. Now, the most heroic thing you can do in the circumstance that you are unwell, is to stay home. Practice good personal hygiene: wash your hands thoroughly and for the recommended time of 20 seconds, cough into your elbow, be conscious of touching public items, and carry a pocket sized hand sanitizer with you wherever you go. Try to not touch your face where possible when out in public places to reduce the risk of infection.

When we recommend that you maintain good practices, we are not only referencing physical hygiene practices, but good mental health practices and health habits, too. Any positive mental tricks and exercises you have picked up while in isolation will be invaluable to bring with you when you return to work. In addition, if you have begun to eat healthier, and exercise more with all the spare time saved from commute on your hands, do not stop when work picks up again! Find a way to keep balance in your lifestyle, and continue new positive habits well into the workplace – out with the old, in with the new.

By implementing these 4 steps before your move back to work, you should be well prepared for any changes that come your way. Not sure if you are ready? Download our Post Isolation Checklist here to find out.

If you are still feeling unsure of the transition back to the workplace, or need guidance on how to adapt to working life post COVID-19, get in touch with us today via

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Your Post Isolation Checklist: Preparing to Go Back to Work, tailored specifically for the benefit of employers.