After over a year of work-from-home for many, transitioning back into the office can be a challenge. Preparing for this transition can make all the difference in keeping your job and income as more and more businesses are returning to pre-pandemic daily routines.

The good news is that there are a few steps you can take to make this transition easier.

Focus on the positives.

Reframing your thinking to focus on the amazing benefits of returning to an office environment. Instead of thinking about it as a loss of flexibility, consider how it will reinforce work-life balance. Now, when you leave the office, you can actually leave work behind and enjoy being home. You may also even enjoy fewer distractions in the office than you had at home when you were sharing your “office” with kids, pets and others.

Lean on your circle.

Going back to the office will make it easier for you to connect with your coworkers. Lean into this benefit! A return to the office means you can more easily share your wins and challenges with your peers and others. This shared connection can help you not only feel better, but can give you a measure of community in which you can thrive.

Schedule breaks in your day.

It may be slightly overwhelming to be surrounded by people again so be to, give yourself a break to go for a walk, grab a cup of coffee, or even just sit outside and listen to a podcast during the day. Set up some coffee dates or grab lunch with some of your coworkers to help break up the day and reset. 

Give yourself a routine.

Mental health experts praise the value of a solid routine as a form of self-care. As you consider your commute and your hours in the office, build a “getting ready” routine and even consider a “wind-down” routine as you get home from work. 

Reclaim your at-home workspace.

Now is the time what was your work-from-home space a good makeover and reframe your relationship with both your space and work. Whether you decide to return it to its former purpose or you choose to make it something new, like a spot for new hobbies or even a post-work mediation room, —the opportunity is something to get excited about. Be mindful and deliberate as you consider what you need, particularly as you return to the office.

Don’t do it all at once.

Many businesses are actually opting for a hybrid in-office model, where they only ask employees to come in for a few days a  week to start. If your business doesn’t currently offer this, consider asking for it, even if only for a temporary amount of time to help ease the transition. There’s a lot of psychological research that supports the benefits of this transition model to help you support your request.

Talk to your employer.

Many people underestimate their company’s willingness to accommodate them, and as a result, they never ask for what they want. 

If you’re struggling with the transition back into the office, remember that you’re not alone. Be kind to yourself and to others throughout this process.