How to survive face to face meetings after having worked remotely for the last 18 months? This is what many people are asking me, particularly as so many people are returning to the office. The Times has highlighted that traffic has reached pre-pandemic levels, with commuters returning to offices in London and other metropolitan centres, rather than continuing to work remotely. But this is a BIG change, and adjusting mentally as well as physically is key to survival!
I was shattered when I arrived home.
Last week I had my first full day workshop ‘in the room’ for 19 months! Hurrah. It was brilliant to be back and the room with other people; taking in their energy and reactions. But I was SHATTERED when I returned home. I was not used to commuting into London; being around people in the train and tube carriage; being in front of other people for a day and taking in the energy of them in the room.
I anticipated that this would be a new experience after so long delivering work virtually. And also for the attendees who have only recently returned to the office 2 days a week. So was aware that the structure of the workshop should be designed so it engaged, intrigued, inspired, but also paced to maintain focus. Yes, we were all tired at the end of the day, but happy, buzzing, motivated tired!
Here are three tips to surviving being back face to face again.
If you are attending a face to face training day; conference or important network event, after having been working from home for over a year, here are three tips.
1. Arrive early. Take time to ‘regroup’ before your arrive – in a coffee shop or walk round the block. It will give you time to destress after the journey.
2. If you feel overwhelmed or over stimulated by all of the visual stimuli – engaging with more people, new environments, after having been at home for so long, take a little time out. Hiding in the loos to recharge or even taking a walk round the block.
3. Acknowledge that this is a big change in your work environment as well as for others. Make sure you have plenty of breaks and if necessary start with shorter days.
4. People will respond to the face to face work environment in different ways. Some people will be thrilled to be surrounded by their work colleagues; others will take some time to adjust. Be kind and understanding.
5. Drink plenty of water. Many work venues have a lot of lights and air conditioning. We are not used to that when working from home.
SuperStar Communicator has delivered in excess of 200 virtual workshops since March 2020. We deliver content ranging from virtual presentation skills to virtual interview skills. We know that a lot of our clients find this method of accessing training content of value: particularly our international clients. We will, of course be offering this option.