5 tips for returning to the office

Whether you're feeling excited or apprehensive, our guide of 5 tips will help make the transition back into office life as smooth as possible..

5 tips for returning to the office

Whether your company has adopted a flexible hybrid working arrangement or you’ll be going back to the office full time, this sudden shift can be both exciting and daunting for some of us. But given that we’ve become accustomed to that pyjama-bottom and no-morning-commute way of life for over a year, it’s completely understandable if you’re now feeling a bit overwhelmed. The good news is that you’re not alone in this experience! And, along with looking forward to office-based perks, like hanging out with your colleagues and fewer video calls, we’ve got 5 tips to help you feel more positive and make the move as smooth as possible.

Get organised in advance

Remote working during the coronavirus pandemic has meant very minimal prep for the workweek. Need a jumper? Just pick one from your cupboard. Forgotten your headphones? They’re still on your dresser. Feeling hangry? You’ve got access to a whole fridge! But now, not having all the necessities at your fingertips means you need to get organised in advance. Your wardrobe is a good place to start, and going through it to rediscover office-friendly attire can help you get into the swing of things. You may realise that you need a few new items or that it’s time to get rid of those tea-stained yoga pants (no judging!). In the evening before your day in the office, it will ease your mind to lay out your chosen outfit, prepare your lunch, download a podcast or pack your work bag with charges and all. Contact lens wearers can also opt for a nifty Daily Essentials Kit/Monthly Essentials Kit to store all their eye care must-haves on the go. We’re talking extra daily contact lenses, a contact lens case and contact lens solution, depending on your wearing pattern.

Remember to take breaks

When you’re back in your office routine, you might find yourself taking fewer breaks and picking up old pre-pandemic habits, like eating lunch at your desk. Obviously being productive and ticking off that to-list is important, but so is stepping away from your screen, as well as getting some fresh air. For the more frantic office days, try to incorporate the 20-20-20 rule - looking at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. Adopting this practice in your work life will help to prevent dry eyes, which are often caused by a lack of blinking. Upping your water intake can work wonders too, so why not invest in a snazzy new bottle and keep some eye drops in your drawer for swift relief?

Eating foods that are good for your eyes during the day can provide an additional boost of moisture, so try spicing up your morning with a berry-packed breakfast smoothie, and including salads, with leafy greens and colourful veggies, as well as nuts and seeds to your packed lunch.

Refresh your office-based setup

So long kitchen table, or dare we say, comfy bed! Being back at work in the office means reuniting with your long-forgotten desk and chair. There’s no doubt that your back and neck will be highly grateful to be returning to this professional and proper-posture inducing setup. And, to ensure your eyes stay happy too, it’s a good idea to adjust the top edge of your monitor to be at eye level, so your gaze is slightly downward at an angle of approximately 30º. Plus, depending on the size of your screen, it should be at a distance of between 50cm and 70cm, or about an arm’s length. If you’ve got 2 screens on the go, place them symmetrically in your workspace to avoid digital eye strain. Tired, over-worked peepers can be soothed with our in-house eye care professionals’ recommended eye exercises - perfect for doing at your desk, on the train, or just before nodding off. Don’t forget that sleeping with contact lenses is a serious no-no.

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Plus, these eye drops work wonders for rewetting contact lenses of all types, ensuring lubrication and upping the levels of comfort. An in-built dispenser makes it super-easy to apply drops into each eye whether you’re in the office, on the go or at home.

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Make time to move your body

Unlike working from home, travelling to the office does mean that you’ll probably get more steps in overall. However, commuting time on public transport can cut out a chunk of the day that you might have used to go for a run after work or maybe do a yoga session in your bedroom. The trick is now to adapt your schedule, perhaps opting for a gym class at lunch with a colleague, or switching from taking the train or bus to cycling to your office. As any sort of physical activity that gets your blood pumping can also decrease the risk of nasty eye conditions, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or glaucoma, not letting your lockdown fitness regime slide is ultra-important. Plus, when you do come home after a day at the office, you can then just focus on switching off and relaxing after being in the working environment.

Look after your mental health

If you’re amongst the more apprehensive employees, it’s essential to acknowledge these feelings and be proactive about taking care of your mental health. Communicating during the adjustment period can really help your employers, colleagues, as well as your family and friends, understand what you’re going through. It’s also possible that your employer will be able to make reasonable adjustments and provide additional support to make the experience easier and the return from homeworking more gradual.

Additionally, simple things, such as downloading specific apps to manage stress, like Headspace and Calm, reaching out to your GP for advice and keeping up with some sort of exercise can make a huge difference to your mindset and mood. Most importantly, don’t be hard on yourself, take each day as it comes and try to focus on the positives - after-work drinks, anyone?