Over the past several months the majority of us have gone from working an 8am to 5pm job at the office to working from home… when/as we can. Listen, it’s been a challenge and as many of us gear up to head back into the office, it’s safe to assume that items such as unopened mail and files are just lying on your desk at the office (literally, I had reminder notes on my desk highlighting dates in April).

So, upon returning to the office one of the first things that you should do is pause to take a few minutes to process everything around you as you’ll want to establish a fresh (and clean) way of doing things in this “new world”. To help you with this process, we’ve put together ten tips that will help you get on track and focused in the first ten days back to the office. They are…

Tip #1: Rethink Your Workspace

If you and your team plan on practicing six feet of social distancing, you’ll want to start with reevaluating your current floor plan. For instance…

  • Remove extra chairs and monitors to discourage un-occupied workstation use.
  • Discuss the use of common areas like conference rooms and the dreaded refrigerator in the kitchen.
  • Seating in common areas can/should be assigned until the widespread threat of virus transmission has diminished.
  • Remove personal items from your desk for the short term. This allows easy access for a thorough nightly cleaning. If the cleaning department is you, stock up on Clorox wipes, Purell, and Lysol spray (We should absolutely get product placement dollars from this!)

Additional ideas could include installing extended cubicle panels/shields between workstations and if nothing else, re-orient workstations so individuals do not face one another.

Tip #2: Record A Fresh “Away From Office” Message

It’s a little thing, but before you get buried in a bunch of work, update your “away messages” on your voice mail and email accounts. The message needs to establish that: “Hey, I’m back in the office and ready to help you grow your business”.

Tip #3: Review Your Calendar

I’m assuming that you have been keeping your calendar up-to-date while away, but now that you are back in the office, you’ll want to sync your calendar by adding in those reoccurring events like sales meetings, promotions meetings, collection meetings… the meetings that you attend to schedule other meetings. You’ve all been away for quite a while, so you’ll need a little reminder to get you back into the rhythm of “office life”.

Two colleages discussing ideas using a tablet and computer

Tip #4: Make A Prioritized List Of Tasks

As you review your emails, snail mail, texts and voice messages, you’ll be reminded of all the stuff you were working on before you left. Instead of working on the first item that crosses your path, make a conscious effort to prioritize your work. Now establish what are the five most important tasks to accomplish your first day back? Second day, third day, etc.

Tip #5: Adapt The New Policy Of Two C.N.A’s Per Day

This is one is for the sellers out there. One C.N.A. in the morning, one in the afternoon either face-to-face, by phone, or video conference. Even if you’ve worked with this customer for years, you may want to consider this to be “day-one” of your business relationship. The reason? Odds are that their business model has changed drastically. Reduced hours, occupancy limits, fewer employees. You will need to identify these changes, craft a fresh new marketing message that addresses these changes.

Tip #6: Write One Qualify Piece Of Spec Copy Per Day

Yes, this was a great idea prior to the pandemic… and even more necessary today. Your customer is overwhelmed by the changes in his or her world. Viewing or listening to a quality piece of copy helps visualize your solution. Oh, and when I say a quality piece of spec copy… PLEASE avoid those old hack phrases like… “for all of your insurance needs…” “All of your painting needs…” “All of your lawn and gardening needs…”.

Your customer’s message is not a cliché, laundry list, or afterthought. It is the opportunity to clearly communicate and define your customer’s USP (unique selling proposition). In short… how will you position that customer to their customer in this new sales environment? Put some thought into it, this potential customer deserves your best effort.

Closeup of womans hand writing on paper

Tip #7: Create Your Own “Stimulus” Plan

Now that you have identified their need and crafted their message. It’s time for you to sit down with your management team and craft a campaign that will cut through the clutter and get the message to the consumer. I’m talking Big Reach! Big Frequency! Great Creative! All priced effectively that will allow that advertiser the opportunity to reignite their business.

Tip #8: Do One Thing At A Time

You may feel the urge to work on three different things at the same time in order to catch up on work. However, this is not the most efficient approach. You’ll only confuse and stress yourself out! Make a point to focus your mind and to only work on one item or task at a time.

Tip #9: Remove Unnecessary Distractions 

To make your transition back to work go as smoothly as possible, get serious about cutting out obvious distractions. This way, you can catch up on things as quickly and efficiently as possible, without being bothered every five minutes. Switch off your cell phone… or set it on “stun”. Close out of any social media accounts, and close-out of computer programs and applications.

Tip #10: Give Yourself A Break

As we’ve discussed in several of our training webinars, the world has been in a 2+ month equivalent of a “cold soak”. Returning back to work must be considered as a transition period for both you, your co-works, and your customers. This can be tough! But, be patient with yourself and the others around you. Stay calm, focused, and relaxed. It’s going to take the world a little time to rethink and reignite to our new normal. Be a part of the solution.

Stay safe, happy, and healthy!

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