Zoom meetings, 10-step commutes from our beds to our laptops, and online happy hours have become the new normal. Conversations now have a natural 2-second delay, and “Can you hear me now?“ is an instinctive response built into our dialogue these days.
As vaccination rates increase and returning to the office is a new incoming reality, one might think workers across the country would be eager to ditch their makeshift bedroom desk for a spacious office. Rather, a looming sense of social anxiety plagues the minds of those of us who were once experts at small talk and cubicle chatter.
Like all skills, social skills require practice and repetition. To go from working from the comfort of your pajamas to putting on your blazer and jumping back into office life is a huge leap.
Returning to the office for many now feels like the moments before a first date. “What are we going to talk about?” “What if it’s awkward?” In order to ease these anxieties, hosting a fun, no stakes ‘pre-office-return get together’ is the ice breaker we all need (and deserve). Like a first date, awkwardness and jitters are best alleviated over activity and play.
As we had to adjust to virtual work, returning to the office will also be an adjustment. Though our desk plants will be wilted, coffee mugs stained, and calendars a year outdated, reuniting with our coworkers face-to-face is the light at the end of the tunnel that will make all of those jitters worth it.
How will you be transitioning back to in-person work?