Entering the Workplace During Unprecedented Times: 3 Tips for Adjusting to the ‘new normal’

The unfamiliar can be tricky.

It takes us out of our comfort zones, and forces us to adjust and create new structures for ourselves.

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely brought about this discomfort, presenting various unique challenges for people.  

For many, it has meant an entirely new way of working: a new routine, workspace, and even new coworkers (family, roommates, pets, etc.). For others, it has presented the task of applying for jobs or starting new jobs from home.

So how do we adapt to the new normal?

1. Adjust Your Expectations 

First and foremost, it’s important that we accept and understand that life looks a little bit different right now. Some days are going to be difficult – and that’s okay. 

In the midst of all of the change and uncertainty, let’s set a goal to be patient with ourselves and others as we adapt.

The mindset that we choose is key.

2. Create a Workspace That Fits Your Needs

Being removed from the office may feel strange, but it presents an opportunity to create your own!

This could mean having multiple workspaces – the dining room table, the office, the picnic table outside – that you use throughout the day. It could also mean having one, consistent workspace to establish a sense of separation between work-life and home-life.

It could look like having inspirational quotes on your desk, or it could look like keeping your space clean to avoid distractions.

It all depends on your preferences.

The important thing is to design an environment that supports focus and productivity as much as possible.

3. Develop a Routine

If being at home all of the time has your brain feeling like mush, you are not alone. Sitting in front of a screen for 8 hours a day can be taxing.

The anecdote? Routine.

Decide what you need. Do you need a slow morning to sip your coffee? Do you need to work out or take daily nature-walks? Do you need to schedule video chats with friends in the evenings? 

Choose habits that best fit your needs and incorporate them into the rhythm of your daily life. Developing a balance between work, play and rest will make a huge impact and will ultimately improve your productivity at work.

So, whether you’re starting a new job, looking for one, or getting used to working from home, adjust your expectations, workspace, and routine in a way that fits your needs and drives you forward. With intentional structure in these areas, it’s possible to thrive in this new-normal.