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    Many businesses are opening back up, and that means many workers? Well, they’re heading back to the office, too. Is your real estate office one of them? Are you getting ready to head back to the brokerage?

    If you are, you likely have some growing pains in your future — especially if you’ve been working full-time from home for the last 16 months. If kids, pets, or a spouse were there, too, the adjustment may be even harder.

    Fortunately, it’s nothing a little preparation can’t help you handle. Are you getting ready to head back to the brokerage in the coming days or weeks? Then use these tips to guide the way.

    Back to the brokerage: Getting into the real estate office groove

    1. Start your office routine at home early.

    Begin to work your office routine into your remote work as you get closer to the transition. If you need to get up at 5 a.m. to commute to the office, start setting your alarm for 5 to get used to the change. You should also commit to working the hours you’ll be required, as well as start going through your typical morning routine to ensure you’re on schedule. 

    Will you be getting the kids ready before leaving? Do that before sitting down in your home office. Will you be making breakfast for the family or taking a run on the treadmill before showering? Do that, too. Make sure you have your routine down pat before the big day arrives.

    2. Bring a touch of home to the office.

    Is there something you really love about your home office? Maybe a nice chair or a great lamp? Bring it with you. 

    Or maybe there’s a daily habit you had while working from home that you’d like to keep. Think a lunchtime walk, 10 minutes of meditation mid-morning, or music playing in the background as you hammer out emails. 

    Find ways to work these elements into your office life before heading back to the brokerage. They’ll help ease the transition and make you more productive. (Just make sure you put on headphones if music is your thing; you don’t want to annoy your officemates!) 

    3. Know your needs and communicate them.

    Take some time to get in tune with your needs as they stand today. If you’ve gotten accustomed to absolute quiet while working from home, invest in some quality noise-canceling headphones to help you stay productive. If your child’s daycare or spouse’s work have changed due to COVID or other struggles, talk to your boss about adopting some sort of flexible schedule that would help you accommodate it. If you’ve whittled down to one car due to financial setbacks, ask about getting a bus pass or subway card covered by work. 

    The main point? Be transparent about what you need, and talk to your boss and coworkers about these needs ahead of time. Chances are, the rest of your team needs some grace and flexibility as well, so lean on each other and help them transition successfully, too.

    4. Prepare those around you.

    Unless you live alone, heading back to the office is going to impact others in your household, too — your kids, your spouse, and even your pets. Make arrangements for these family members early, and be sure to set reasonable expectations. This might mean switching up who needs to cook dinner or who wakes up early and gets the kids ready. It may mean swapping daycares, hiring a babysitter, or arranging for a doggie day camp once a week for your pup. Make sure everyone’s needs are accounted for as the transition nears.

    5. Use your commute strategically — both ways.

    Most of us dread the morning commute, but it can actually be a great tool as you ease back into the office environment. Use your time on the road to listen to industry news and podcasts, or have Siri read your emails aloud as you sit in traffic. 

    On the way home, use that commute to create your to-do list for the day (Siri can help there, too) or to return voicemails or dictate emails. There are lots of options here, but in a nutshell? Let your commute ease the pressure a bit and give you some extra bandwidth before and after your workday.

    6. Just take it step by step as you head back to the brokerage.

    Don’t expect things to be 100% up and running from the very start. There are going to be hiccups, and there are going to be growing pains — no matter how well you plan and prepare. Just take things one day at a time. Get the schedule down, ease back into the communal working environment, and work out the kinks as they arise. It may take some time, but you’ll emerge stronger and more productive than ever if you keep at it.

    The bottom line

    Are you going back to the brokerage? There are certainly some challenges that lie ahead, but planning now can help ease the transition. Need more guidance for being successful in this year’s crazy housing market? Check out Embrace Home Loan’s real estate agent resources now.

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