How To Address The Return To The Office

How To Address The Return To The Office

Although COVID19 is still very much a force to be reckoned with, life is still getting back to normal.  For many people, this raises the question of whether or not it’s time to return to the office.  Depending on your employer, your return may be a matter of choice or policy.  If it’s the latter your options are to comply, look for a new job or start your own business.

cycling to work

Should you comply and stay put?

There are probably very few people who genuinely have perfect jobs.  These people are extremely lucky.  For the most part, making compromises is as much a part of work as it is a part of life.  This means that everybody has to work out where their own particular lines in the sand are and by extension where there’s room for negotiation.

If you’re generally happy with your job, then it may be in your best interests to return to it until you are ready to progress naturally.  This is particularly relevant if your employer has a strong learning and development program, for example, they use  Making use of this could be far more economical than paying for training yourself.  It could be worth the cost of commuting.

Should you look for another job?

If you prefer the relative security of employment but don’t want to commute, then your best option might be to look for another job.  The good news is that, right now, there’s a lot more remote-/hybrid- work available than there used to be.  The bad news is that the basic dynamics of the job market still apply.  In other words, be careful not to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Even if you hate the idea of commuting again, it may be worth sticking it out in the short term.  Give yourself time to find a job that really suits you instead of just jumping into whatever you can find.  You might even want to consider upskilling yourself to make yourself a more attractive candidate.  If you really can’t face commuting again you might want to consider short-term contracts or freelancing in the short term.

Should you start your own business?

Being your own boss may sound like a dream and it can be.  You do, however, need to be prepared for the challenges.  The main challenge is that as your own boss you are responsible for everything.  That doesn’t mean you need to do everything.  In fact, trying to do everything is usually a recipe for burnout.  It does, however, mean that you need to make sure that everything is done.

The internet can be a great help here.  It allows you to find other people to help you as well as to market your own products and/or services.  There is a robust market both for freelancers and entrepreneurs.  Keep in mind, however, that it generally takes some time to become established either as a freelancer or as an entrepreneur.  This means that it can be advisable to transition into either path and/or have savings to see you through the early stages.

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