As great as it is to see everyone from work again, there's a whole new set of challenges to face when you're doing work from home part-time and heading into the office a few days a week. Figuring out your new routine isn't easy, but with the right planning and preparation, you can make sure you've got everything you need no matter where you lay your laptop.
Easier said than done, granted, but making a plan for your week will help you get through to Friday without creating any extra headaches for yourself. Laying out your schedule with something like Karst's Weekly Desk Pad gives you visibility over your whole week, so you can see where you need to be on each day and stay on-task wherever you're working.
Another side-effect of routine shock is that your meals go out the window, especially when you're still getting used to your daily commute. That usually means a huge UberEats tab come the weekend, so avoid the credit card shock and use Rifle Paper Co.'s Weekly Meal Planner to figure out what's for dinner before you get home hungry. Plus, the tear-off shopping list is a handy way to make sure you don't miss any key ingredients when you swing by Coles on the way home.
Keep it together
It's easy to lose track of your keys, or your laptop charger, or some other essential when you're switching between home and office every day or two. Having a consistent place for all your essentials makes it easier to keep track of them, and saves you ticking off a long mental list of gear before you run out the door each morning. Storing all your mouse, SD cards, flash drives and critical chargers in Bellroy's Standing Pouch Plus means they're all kept safe together, ready to grab and be tossed in a bag before you head into the office.
And speaking of tossing gear in a bag, a dedicated work backpack is a great solution for keeping all your office essentials in one portable place. Pop your Standing Pouch Plus in there along with your laptop and your diary, as well as a few other essentials we'll get to in a bit, and you'll be ready to start your day whether you're working from home or heading into the office. Moleskine's Canvas Backpack packs a lot in, with a dedicated laptop pouch and room to hold everything else you need.
The padded back and straps make it a comfy commute option, and a textured canvas outer in some warm, natural colours that have a bit more character than your standard computer bag. Plus, the two outer side pockets are a handy place for your phone or drink bottle. Which leads us to...
Remember what is was like to be more than 6 steps from your kitchen at any given point? We're still adjusting to that change too, and struggling to get used to the fact that we can't turn off video and make a toasted sandwich while on a Zoom call anymore (for legal reasons, this is a joke). Eating a decent lunch involves a bit more prep time when you're back in the office, but popping some leftovers in a Porter Glass Bowl or a Stainless Steel Bento helps keep your appetite in check without creating the waste that comes with grabbing takeaway.
And speaking of waste, we've all slipped back into the habit of grabbing coffee in a single-use cup, but now that we're starting a new routine, this is a great chance to get back on board with reusable coffee cups. Arcadia Scott Ceramics' Travel Tumbler is subtle and office-friendly, but with the warm texture of clay that feels so good in your hand.
If you're the type to forget your coffee until it's gone cold, though, you can't go past Kinto's To Go Tumbler. Made with lightweight stainless steel, it's designed to keep your coffee warm for up to an hour, so you've got more chance to enjoy it. The To Go Tumbler also keeps cold drinks frosty for longer, so if you're going for a refreshing cold brew on a sweltering summer day, it's the perfect caffeine companion for home and office life.
While we're thinking sustainably, make sure you've got yourself a quality water bottle to keep you hydrated through the day. Helpful whether you're at home or in the office, a Clima bottle keeps your water cool and refreshing all day, and cuts down on both carbon and waste going into landfill compared to disposable bottles. Keep it in your bag so you never leave home without it.
If your backpack's getting a bit crowded, though, maybe a drink bottle from memobottle might be more your speed. At just 3cm thick, the A6 memobottle is designed to fit neatly in your bag alongside your laptop and your notebook, taking up less space than cylindrical bottles while still holding heaps of water to keep you hydrated on the go. Plus, they look absolutely stunning (it won the Good Design Award for a reason), and the way water sloshes around inside is borderline-hypnotic. So if packing your bag is getting more like a never-ending game of Tetris, give memobottle a go.
Most of all, remember to be kind to yourself. The last year has been one wild change after another, and getting back into the routine of going to the office is going to take some time. You might not get it right 100% of the time, but with some sensible planning, you'll get back into the rhythm of things before you know it.