Top tips for returning to the office

8 September 2021

If you have been on furlough or working from home for the past year or so, returning to the office can feel quite daunting. But there are ways to make the transition as smooth and stress-free as possible. Here are our top tips for returning to the office!

Reset your body clock


If you’ve been working from home, the chances are that you have been waking up later than you usually would in regular times. So it is important to get your body back into the habit of waking up earlier, this way you will have plenty of time to get ready and commute. You should try to get into this habit at least a week before you return to the office if you can. This gives your body time to adjust and get used to it, so you should be less tired once you are back in the office.

Figure out your commute

If you use public transport to get to work, make sure that you are up to date with the current timetables and routes, as these may have changed since pre-pandemic. If you take your car to work, be aware of any road closures that may be in place due to social distancing. Being aware of these things should help you work out how much time you will need for your commute. You may even want to do a practice run of your commute to see how long it takes you, so that you won’t be late for your first day back in the office.

Make sure you have the essentials ready

It is also important to ensure that you have all of the essentials that you need for returning to the office. Make sure you have things like a backpackwater bottle and any required stationary on hand. You can check out our back to office checklist here where we highlight all the essentials you may need!

Prepare the night before


Try to prepare the night before as much as possible. This will reduce stress and make sure you’re not in a rush in the morning. You can pack your bag and pick out your work clothes the night before, as well as prepare a packed lunch. Remember to pick out clothes that make you feel confident as this can boost your mood and set you up for a good day.

Put effort into your lunch

Food fuels our brains, so having a nice lunch to look forward to is important. You don’t need to revert back to boring old sandwiches just because you’re heading back to the office. Is there something you’ve been eating at home that you’ve enjoyed? Take that into the office with you. You can also check out our blog post here where we highlight some healthy packed lunch ideas.

Be aware of COVID protocols

Different workplaces and office buildings may have different guidelines when it comes to COVID. These can include things like mask wearing and test and trace requirements. Be sure that you are aware of these before you return so that you know what’s expected. And it’s always a good idea to carry a bottle of hand sanitiser with you.

Organise and decorate your desk


When returning to the office, your desk may be bare and empty, or a mess like you left it. When you return, you should take time to tidy and organise your desk with your stationary and belongings. An organised desk makes us feel less stressed and more productive. You can also add some decorations from home to make the transition easier. How about a photo of your family or your pet? Or take your favourite mug with you.

Take breaks and get some air

If you can, use your breaks to get out of the office and take a walk. This will help you to adjust and relieve any stress you may be feeling. If you can’t get out the office, make sure to regularly stand up from your desk and take a little walk around the office or to the staff room.

Be open with others

If there is anything that you are struggling with, or anything you are unsure of make sure that you discuss these things with your colleagues or managers. It is better to let things out and try to resolve them rather than bottling them up. And chances are that there will be colleagues who feel the same way as you are!

Create a fun “back to office” atmosphere

It is likely that you have only been seeing your colleagues through video calls for the past year or so. So why not create a fun and sociable atmosphere for reuniting face to face? Bring in some cookies or cake for colleagues and take time to socialise during your breaks.


If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, try to relax by doing calming activities. Listen to soothing music on your commute, taking a relaxing bath the night before, or practice some mindfulness. Just remember to take care of yourself. And you can try to get it better so you will be trying to make it even bette r

We hope that you found these tips helpful and that your return to the office goes smoothly! You can check out our other blog post here where we discuss 10 simple tips for reducing stress at work.

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