I have read and written countless articles over the course of the pandemic focusing upon the legal issues that employers need to consider from workplace safety to COVID-19 reporting to employee-leave issues, but there have been few articles focused upon the more practical aspects of returning to the workplace. As we begin to return to “normal,” consideration should be given to the fact that there are people who have been working from home since March 2020 and that returning to work after 15 months is going to bring with it a whole host of concerns and issues. Consideration of these issues and some planning will certainly make for an easier transition back to the workplace.
I was on the phone with a friend the other day who was advised that her office will be repopulated over the summer. Like many of us, she has worked from home for the past 15 months. She did not even know where her work clothes were in her closet or if they still fit. Let’s face it, most of us have either worked in our pajamas or sweats or yoga pants. I get it. I recently had an in-person client meeting and all of my makeup had dried up from lack of use. I also completely misjudged how long it would take me to get ready to leave the house … dressing for work is different than dressing for a home office. Plus don’t forget many of us now have to walk the dogs that we acquired during COVID-19, make sure they have water, that the kids are where they need to be, and that the house is locked up. I think I checked my door about five times to make sure it was locked before I could drive away.