Most of us have begun returning to office in the past few weeks after what seems like an eternity of working from home (I know of friends who’ve actually been working from home since April of 2020).

Now, I don’t know how you feel — but I’m torn.

I’ve settled in very comfortably into my home routine, and even turned my once cosy bedroom into a no-aesthetic home office that currently just screams “cable management crisis”.

I’m all set up and ready to be stuck at home forever. But I also do hope that returning to office means a more disciplined sleep cycle and hopefully some regaining back of a work-life separation.

Whether we like it or not, reality summons. Which type of worker are you? And how can we help one another transit back to office life?

You know you love and thrive under routines.

In fact, your work-from-home routine runs like a well-oiled machine.

You might now find yourself struggling to adapt to life back in the office because this half-home, half-office arrangement brings about new changes and uncertainties for you.

Even as you struggle to adapt to the changes that keep coming, don’t be afraid to delegate or reach out to your colleagues for help when it all feels too much.

You’re good at coming up with routines, so plan a new one that excites you! Once you’re adjusted to the new routine, it’ll all work out.

Efficient and reliable, no deadline gets missed with you around.

You’re probably that colleague who remained the most productive throughout the entire WFH period. No distracting small talk and no long lunch breaks. You know what you need to do and you get things done.

But as you race to check off the tasks on your to-do list, remember to look out for the people around you.

Being back in the office means being surrounded by your colleagues once again. And while deadlines might be important, someone around you might need just a listening ear or a friend to talk to.

You’re probably one of those who are feeling motivated and excited to return to the office.

Finally – no more distractions at home and you can be fully focused at work. Working from home has likely sizzled out your work-life balance.

But here’s a chance to regroup yourself!

For a start, set an alarm to remind you of your working hours. Don’t send or reply to any work messages after hours unless absolutely necessary. Resist the habit of cracking open your work laptop at night.

Learn to rebuild boundaries so that you don’t indirectly stress your colleagues out as well.

It’s time for you to shine once again! You’ve been waiting for this day to come.

Being around people and socialising is your passion. You can easily make sure that no one feels awkward after not meeting in person for months. There is never a dull moment with you around.

But be careful if you’re having too much fun catching up and socialising with your colleagues – you might easily lose track of the time and the tasks you need to complete.

Schedule in some “social breaks” to interact with others, but make sure to limit those breaks to a certain duration.

Try blocking out a few hours to work quietly. And if it’s too quiet, why not find a playlist to hype yourself up?

You’ve probably weathered the stress and uncertainties of the past few months the best.

Freed from forced small talk, large social gatherings and awkward lunch meetings — working from home was the best thing you’ve ever had. And now you’re slightly antsy.

It’s time to head back into the wild again, but take things slowly. Human interaction is part and parcel of life.

For a start, focus on one-on-one catching up with your colleagues if a group conversation feels too overwhelming. Look on the bright side – you can  now say goodbye to Zoom meetings that often make you feel overly exposed and scrutinised.

And once in a while when it all feels like too much in the office, take a 5-minute break to recharge yourself. Or get yourself a pair of good noise-cancelling earphones.

What are some of the potential struggles and challenges you might face going back to the office?

There are some things that are not limited to personality types and preferences – like having to pick up your child earlier or helping to take a family member to the doctor’s.

Make use of this season as an opportunity to learn how to communicate better with your colleagues and bosses.

As we discover and learn more about each other’s working styles, perhaps we can also work out more efficient and productive ways of getting things done.

And as colleagues, perhaps it’s also time for us to relook at how we can help each other uncover our potential at work.

Images sourced from various awesome memes across the internet.

  1. What are you dreading or looking forward to as we return to the office?
  2. Lift those things up to God in prayer.
  3. Which profiles do your colleagues fall under? Think of ways you can help one another get used to the new routine!