Today I wanted to share with you 10 tips that I have found helpful in going back to work after quarantine. Although I typically work from home and travel a lot for work, the boy’s daycare has opened back up. Can I get an amen?! So, both Ryan and myself have gotten back into our regular work routines.
Yes, it has been so nice to have some semblance of normalcy back in our lives. And trust me, I am 10 times more productive. However, it definitely has required an adjustment on all of our parts-including the boys. These ten tips have helped me tremendously in getting back to work after quarantine, somewhat successfully. I hope they will help any of you who are facing heading back into the office after an extended time away due to the pandemic.
If you guys have any tips that you have been using for the transition back to work after quarantine, please share them below in the comments! I would love to hear what everyone is doing to make the process go more smoothly.
PRACTICE YOUR OLD ROUTINE IN ADVANCE OF GOING BACK TO WORK.
Unfortunately/fortunately, our routine went out the window pretty much day one of quarantine. Bedtimes and wake-up times were not observed by anyone. We were all totally fine with staying in pajamas and loungewear all day. Cocktail hour was any hour. You get the drift. Rather than waiting for the alarm to go off at 5:30am on your first day back, begin practicing your morning routine the week before you go back to the office. Wake-up when you normally would, get the kids up, dressed, and fed as if you were going to be taking them to school. Also, make sure you practice getting yourself dressed and ready to go as well. Basically, whatever your old routine was, make sure you are back in the swing of things to ensure day 1 is not a complete s$%t show.
EASE YOUR KIDS INTO THE IDEA THAT THEY ARE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL, AND YOU ARE GOING BACK TO WORK.
It is important to remember that this is going to be a big adjustment for them too. They have gotten used to being home all day, being around you and your spouse, having everyone together all the time. Considering so much of their lives are still uncertain, it will be hard for them to understand that things are “going back to normal.” The last thing you want to do is to spring on them that they are headed back to daycare the morning of your first day back at work.
CHECK IN WITH CHILDCARE.
Before the kids go back to daycare or school, make sure you check in with your childcare provider to familiarize yourself with any new rules, routines, or regulations put in place due to COVID. For us, I know that pick-up and drop-off are now handled carpool style. You are not allowed into the building to walk them to their class or to pick them up. We also used to pack Holden’s food for him, but they are no longer allowing outside food to be brought in. So, school lunches it is! Whatever the new rules are at your particular childcare provider, make sure you know them in advance.
BUY YOURSELF A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL-BAG.
Has anyone else tried to limit the amount of stuff you take with you when you leave the house now? When grocery shopping, I typically take my kids and wallet. I also try to avoid setting things on the ground or on public surfaces. PRO TIP: Get a bag that you can slide your computer, wallet, keys, lunch, etc into, so you aren’t having to bring three separate bags into work every day. If you you follow me on Insta, you know I just bought this awesome laptop bag from Calpak. The bag is super affordable and will easily fit everything you need for the day. I have also sourced some of my favorite totes below if you are looking for more of a tote-style bag.
STOCK UP ON PPE AND CLEANING SUPPLIES.
Once back in your office, you are going to be much more aware of cleanliness and personal protection than you were prior to the pandemic, so I recommend stocking up on some additional PPE and cleaning supplies to keep at your desk. Go ahead and have a few extra masks handy, get a bottle of hand sanitizer to keep at your desk, and grab a thing of Clorox wipes or spray so you can clean your desk and frequently touched surfaces throughout the day. Throw all of those supplies in a caddy, and leave it out on your desk where it is easily accessible.
KEEP DOING WHAT WORKED IN QUARANTINE
A lot of us developed new habits- some good, some bad- during quarantine out of necessity. Perhaps you started meal planning more. Maybe you began a daily work out routine. Or committed to spending time outdoors every day.
Maybe you even committed to only drinking one bottle of wine a day. Whatever new habit you developed to help with your sanity and your health…keep it up. It helped you through a difficult time for a reason, and things getting back to normal is not a reason to abandon what worked!
Yes, girl! Going back to the office is not a walk in the park. I am sure many of you have very mixed feelings and a lot of stress surrounding that decision. What better way to help ease that pain than a little retail therapy. Am I right? Buy yourself a new back-to-work outfit. Splurge on a fresh mani and pedi. Get yourself those new shoes you have been eyeing. I LOVE a white blazer for both work and play. Here are several options under $150 that will give you a boost of confidence heading back to work.
DUST OFF YOUR PLANNER AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONAL TOOLS YOU USE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC.
If your household was anything like ours during quarantine, it was an absolute free-for-all. We rarely knew what day it was, what time it was, or what we were doing next. Our organizational systems both inside the home and for work went to you-know-what in a hand basket. Now is time to bring all those systems and organizational aids back to help ensure things run smoothly at home and at the office. What are some of your favorite planners? Here are a bunch of super cute options!
DEEP CLEAN, BABY
This may sound crazy, but being back in the office full time is going to be a huge energy zap, and you are going to want to be able to spend your nights and weekends relaxing and recuperating. What you are not going to want to do is spend that time scrubbing toilets and dusting baseboards. Do a top-to-bottom deep clean on the house the week before you go back to work, so you can cut yourself a little cleaning slack those first few weeks back in the office. Don’t have time? Hire someone to do the dirty work for you!
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES
It is really easy to feel super Debbie Downer about returning to work, but if possible, try and keep a running list in your mind of all the positives you will gain. You will be able to work in peace and quiet without interruptions from toddler tantrums and demands from children. And how amazing will it be to have some adult social interactions back in your life again?! We all have work besties or people that we miss from the office.
Focus on how nice it will be to catch up with them and have adult conversations again. There are so many things to be grateful for even during these tough times, and it is easy to lose sight of those when we are in a difficult situation. Look for the good, and chances are you will find it.
SHOP THE POST BEFORE YOU GO BACK TO WORK
Below, I am linking my full outfit, my favorite coffee mug, water bottle, laptop bag, planners, and organization items you will love!