Chestnut Hill Career Column – I want to get back to my office

Posted 6/1/20

by Rona Sisson

Dear

CHCC (Chestnut Hill Career Column): 

I have

been required to work from home, but frankly want to get back into the office

asap.  I love my job but …

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Chestnut Hill Career Column – I want to get back to my office

Posted

by Rona Sisson

Dear CHCC (Chestnut Hill Career Column): 

I have been required to work from home, but frankly want to get back into the office asap.  I love my job but cannot stand working at this setup we did in the corner of my bedroom.  I wonder what you think the future holds for getting back to the office?

Crossing our collective fingers, anyone who is healthy should be able to get back to their worksite in Pennsylvania as we move to the ‘green’ light.   Keep an eye on this page link for reopening info:  https://www.governor.pa.gov/process-to-reopen-pennsylvania/

Be prepared that you may need to have your temperature taken, wear a mask and certainly practice social distancing within your workplace.  Many businesses have remained open for essential services and moving forward, employers must follow guidelines for their staff’s health and safety as offices reopen. 

One amazing outcome of this work from home situation has been a profound shift in how people view what they may want (work from home or work in the office, or a combo) and how it may fundamentally change some business models.   Some people actually have discovered they like working from home and feel more productive.  Sure, sometimes you may need to take an important call while you sit in your car to keep distractions at a minimum, but for some, they have discovered in their respective career, working from home is possible. 

Ideas that may help you in the short term which we wait for our region to go from red to yellow to green include setting up your own 2-3 hour work ‘zones’ and keeping close track of personal breaks so days are not wasted away.  Getting ‘dressed’ for work like you did when you went to your office may help.  Parents with school age kids at home have shared that they use a whiteboard in the morning to set up the day.  Of course, your day may change as things come up, but one of the success factors in a work-from-home situation involves knowing when you as an individual are your most productive.  With how quickly this covid crisis occurred, it can take some time to know when, where and how you can be at the top of your game workwise.   I completely understand your eagerness to get back to your office.  This situation has proven hard on many people who have had to transition to working from home.  Stay positive.  When you feel overwhelmed or distracted -- take a deep breath, take a walk around the block, call a friend/ family and know that you are not alone.  RS 

Dear CHCC: 

I have been laid off and am collecting unemployment.  I do anticipate that my boss is going to rehire me back this summer but what happens if I turn that offer down?  I actually may want to go back to school and switch careers.  Any thoughts?

I like that you are having some thoughts about what this forced ‘downtime’ presents by way of career-related interests and educational opportunities.  With this time, many people are considering options they perhaps otherwise would not have considered.  For some, it may be a good time to take that last course to complete your bachelors degree, for example, or get that certification which a vast majority of jobs require. There are great options which were already in an online form that may work for you.  Some universities are putting even more executive or adult education programs into a virtual format for adult learners to pursue.  There was a nice article about community colleges as well recently in the Inquirer: mc3.edu/news/2020/05/community-college-benefits

On your potential rehire, as Pennsylvania opens up from red to yellow to green, we can hope that many folks are offered their jobs back.  It feels like a long time ago:   looking back to March 19, when the Governor ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close across the commonwealth.  Employers have until June 30, 2020 to offer to rehire folks if they received PPP funds and seek loan forgiveness.  I’m not sure your timing as noted ‘summer’ nor your employer’s situation with all that, but just be aware that if you do decline your employer’s offer to return to your job (at the same hours/ pay rate), you may forfeit eligibility for continued unemployment compensation.  Depending on your circumstances just keep that in mind and I wish you all the luck in your endeavors.  RS

Rona Sisson is an attorney and also serves as Executive Director with Mestel & Co., a legal recruiting firm with offices nationwide. A resident of Chestnut Hill, she has been in the career field for over 25 years and provides career advice and job searching strategies to clients across the region.  You may email her your questions at ronasisson@gmail.com for the CHCC. 

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