The [Solve] Friday December 22

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Happy Holidays! As we gear up for more in-office meeting requirements in 2024, Jeremy Mann shares essential tips to ensure preparedness for this workplace transition. Wishing you a joyful holiday season filled with success and readiness for the year ahead!

Season’s greetings from Logisolve! May your holidays be merry and bright!

Checking Back In

By Jeremy Mann | Advisory Consultant/Senior Business Analyst Consultant

In recent times, many of us have experienced extended periods of remote work and are now facing a shift back towards in-office or hybrid work setups. Regardless of the advantages of each work arrangement, it’s worth discussing the return to office environments as several companies plan to enforce this requirement in 2024.There are some points of order you may find helpful whether you are currently running full speed ahead at your workplace, ramping back up or looking ahead to a more engaged presence in-person. As consultants, this situation is one we are uniquely gifted to understand as our client interactions always require a level of assessment, adaptation and interpretation. Frankly, we adapt well and these are points I have found valuable.

  1. We are not all returning at the same time and place. Grant your colleagues grace as you see them in-person again. They are likely at a different place than you, and just like politics and religion, pandemic conversations might not be par for social chit-chat. Remember your first day in the office and reference, internally, those feelings when you see someone for the first time in a while. Be empathetic.
  2. Find your communication boundaries again, if you had them, or establish them if they didn’t exist. Your remote experience may have led you to communicate at irregular times such as late nights and weekends. You will be mixing in with your colleagues’ communication styles and this is an opportunity to ensure you establish norms for yourself amidst some perceptual chaos around you.
  3. Book meeting rooms. You are now in a space with physical locations to see and interact with people. The habits you have created with online meetings were likely a great learning experience and added another tool to your kit; however, you will need reminding that virtual meeting spaces used to be optional to meeting in person. Value interactions in the highest available form.
  4. Greet your colleagues. Take the time to remove earbuds when you enter your office space, put your phone in your pocket, look up and say “Good Morning!” to those around you. A lot has happened to put us in our own heads more often and these habits are not always evident to us. Smile and make eye contact in the hallways and wish your cube neighbors a good day when you head out.
  5. Find topics and time for conversation outside of your work. In an office environment you may need to remind yourself to be friendly and bit more outgoing. As a naturally introspective person, this is a skill I generally need to enhance anyhow, but I find recent times needs even a higher dose of attention.
  6. Keep your phone in check. It appears that remote work has left many of us with a greater allegiance to our cell phones, perhaps because we are more reachable, flexible and unfettered by office standards. Revisit your cell phone habits and make sure you are finding the space and time for personal needs.
  7. Find ways to release anxiety. Let’s be honest about the level of anxiety we now experience in comparison to the past. Working in-person will likely elevate your anxiety to some extent. Take the opportunity to establish good habits like disconnecting to take a walk, finding good sunlight, getting some fresh air, stretching or just breathing.
  8. Eat with others. If you are offered an extended break to enjoy lunch, take the time to interact with others in your office. Our boundaries around breaks were greatly blurred during remote work. When you are in-person, take the opportunity to re-establish lunch break norms and remember the value in setting work aside during the day.
  9. Participate. You will likely receive familiar invitations to activities in the office such as contests, games, outings and social fun. Outgoing people at your workplace are working hard to make a positive difference at your workplace and supporting their efforts is important. Their job is not easy. You do not have to sign up for everything all at once, but a few opportunities go a long way both for yourself and your organization.
  10. Check your ego. Your ego has had a unique opportunity to affect you over the past two years. There are great resources to understand emotional intelligence and your internal narrative. Assume this area will need a little care and maintenance as you come into the office. Although you have grown and adapted, there are habits you have formed and justified that will need your attention.

We are a people who exist better when we are in community with one another. I hope one or more of these tips resonate with you if you are working with an in-person experience as of late. I hope you give yourself some grace and space to make transitions as they present themselves when you check back in.

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