With nearly 20 months since the pandemic swept the world and had us all abruptly transition to a work-from-home environment, we’ve had to embrace a revised definition of what it means to work productively and perform well at work. We’ve relied heavily on tech solutions to communicate and get things done, and as we slowly transition back into an in-person work environment, it’s going to take some adjusting as well. While many are excited to get back into the office, others may be hesitant after having already established their new routines. Our top tip for smoothing the transition back to the office lifestyle? Active transport.
While we may still be dreary-eyed on a morning peak hour train ride, electing to walk or ride a bicycle to work can put us in a heightened state of awareness and alertness. Even just getting off the bus or train a stop earlier and electing to walk the rest of the way, or simply biking to the station instead of driving can make a huge impact. The number of ways in which riding a bike in particular can assist with overall body maintenance is astounding; not only is it an aerobic exercise (hello, endorphins) that is easy on the joints, but cycling also builds muscle strength and even bone density. A study by the British Medical Journal even found that there was a 52% lower risk of dying from heart disease and 40% lower risk of dying from cancer in cycle commuters. Ready to give active transport a go? If you’re new to biking, check out the Bicycle Network – they’re packed full of tips on how to get started on your bike journey.
Of course, remember to be gentle with the expectations you set on yourself as you head back into the office. Creating a new routine around your work day can be a huge part of helping to ease the transition – maybe you have a favourite podcast you can listen to on your morning commute, or a great coffee place around the corner from the office to get your morning cup of joe. The social aspect may also be jarring, having gone from seeing no one to seeing all your old (and possibly some new!) work colleagues in person on a daily basis. Above all, take the time to reach out for support, and talk to your supervisors if you’re struggling. A staggered transition back into the office may work best for some people, so don’t be afraid to communicate your needs with your team.
Remember – we’re all in this together.