The past months have seen a world never imagined move through challenges that have faced businesses, families, individuals and more. A world where there has not been a model or framework showing us how to manage.

Many have combined both a demanding career with homeschooling. Then in the past weeks a return to schools and for some a distanced, group return to the workplace. And again change – a workplace that will be different to the one we left. Again, no manual for this.

The words that are buzzing around are

  • Work from home some of the week.
  • Go into an office for some of the week.

To help handle this uncertainty, we need find ways to co-opt our mindset to make sense of designing and working in unknown ways. We can be assured that our brain will trick us by suggesting we go back to our workplace and create as we know best from past experience.  This will not happen.

A colleague works in the area of grief which encompasses loss in the workplace. Loss of a job, working conditions, career change and more. And the words that come out now are, “feeling like a stranger” in a world that was a daily part of our being.  For many their security.  The roadmap or GPS moving forward has disappeared off the grid to places never seen before.  A world where big thinkers, small thinkers are trying to make sense of their future.  Hoping this leads to a safe way forward.

Our minds are going to help or hinder us in the return to work. So think about doing this.

  • Mindset re-set, give yourself permission to think of innovative ways to fulfill your workplace obligations. It’s important to be open and vocal. We are all trying our best and many times new ideas, and suggestions can be missed by colleagues.
  • Home to workplace leverage. What is it that fulfills you internally in your office and work life? That you have missed working from home. Are you able to reignite or remodel this fulfillment back into your workplace with a new look? “Is it, interaction, team work, connection face to face?”.
  • Future Mindset. Does Your workplace need be in one building, area? Could you manage your time better in the future by reducing the commute? Less stress and more creativity. Again be prepared to be vocal about your suggestions. Now is the time to get out ideas. A honeymoon period. I imagine many workplaces are open to putting in place genuine caring for all. Life has softened and this is good.

And finally. Take time to congratulate yourself in getting through the past months. A time where I imagine you have had to produce creations in a less than perfect environment. Around family especially. Now back in your workplace even if it’s for a day a week make sure that you ask for what you need in the first week. I imagine we all would welcome well thought out suggestions in moving our careers and design work forward in a supportive workspace.