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Oct 26, 2021

Natalie McVeigh discusses how employers are urging a return to office, we have several choices and the main one has to do with us and how we preserve our own boundaries and keep what has worked for us—regardless of the change of venue.​


Many of you might be like me sitting in your office today. Returning to work is the topic that we honestly can't talk enough about. It's the reverse of when we were talking about working from home. And we've spent about two years now, working from home. For some of us that had challenges. The important thing though, is to try to make returning to work, work for you. So, some people noticed when they weren't commuting, they had extra time for exercise. Some people noticed that they could wear more comfortable clothing. What I'd challenge you to do is find some of those habits that worked really well, and bring those with you to the office. So, if you had a quiet, full lunch break, when you are at your new office, or your same office that feels new again after two years, incorporate that lunch break. So, keep those habits that worked really well. Don't just jettison them all of a sudden because you're back in the workplace.

Find a way to really take your time at the beginning of the end of the day to prep for that work. Some of my colleagues call this windshield time. When you're behind your car, you can meditate, you can listen to music, you can emotionally prep to start the next piece. The great thing about having a physical work office is, hopefully, we can leave work there. We can feel ready to join our life afterwards.

The other thing that might be really important is keep some of the comfort. My understanding is a lot of workplaces are relaxing some of their attire because they realize that we have more of a casual work environment. If nothing else, if you can find comfortable shoe wear, even if you have to get dressed up, because you can't wear your joggers or sweatpants in the office.

And the most important thing about engaging in return to work is we really missed each other. So, make time for those connections and ensure that they're honest, open and vulnerable. You don't have to small talk saying everything is okay. Share those chat challenges that you're having, learn from others in what's working. And you'll be able to create a routine that's really sustaining, gets you energized and excited to see one another.

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Natalie M. McVeigh

Natalie McVeigh is a Managing Director in the Center for Individual and Organizational Performance and the Center for Family Business Excellence Group within the Private Client Services Group and has more than 10 years of experience as a consultant and coach.

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