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Returning to work after social distancing

As part of the social distancing, we still have to work from home. However, sooner or later, we’ll eventually be back in the office. The thing is: How are you ready for this?

Since 10th September 2021, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has launched the Covid-19 vaccination campaign nationwide. Specifically, on 13th September 2021, Ha Noi is implementing vaccination for all citizens over 18 in the city. With more and more people receiving their first or second jab, we expect to reduce social distancing and come back to work soon. 

One exciting thing that Hurf staff share is that many people have mixed feelings about this. While people seemed averse to working at home at first, several months of social distancing have prompted them to develop certain habits to this working style. Thus, the idea of coming back to the office may deem not as exciting. According to a survey from, over half of Vietnamese labor rated the efficiency of working from home from high to very high. Only one-fifth felt that they did not enjoy the experience.

Whether you like this or not, all of us will have to work after social distancing. In this article, let’s find out how to make the process more comfortable.

Pay attention to safety

Most people do not want to come back to their workplace due to health concerns. Most of us will ask the question: What if I unknowingly contract the virus and spread it to others? No one can confidently say that they will not get infected, and thus, the stress begins to demotivate us.

While our concerns are valid, being too paranoid about the worst scenario only drains us further. Instead, we can take preventive measures to protect ourselves and others.

Tips from Hurf:

  • Follow the 5k as advised by the government - Khau trang (facemask)- (Khu khuan) disinfection- (Khoang cach) distance- (Khong tu tap) no gathering.
  • Make a medical declaration. Install the app Bluezone to keep track of the cases.
  • Take regular exercise at home. Do yoga and meditation. Physical health and mental health matters equally.
  • Eat healthily. Supplement vitamins to increase our resistance.

If you feel that the safety measures in your workplace are not strong enough, for example, there is a lack of hand sanitizers in the entrance, or there are some co-workers not wearing masks, inform your bosses and managers. The fight against Covid-19 is one for all and all for one. Therefore, everyone needs to adhere to the safety guidelines for the sake of the whole community. 

Adjusting your sleeping habit

Many people have changed their habits for the past two months of working from home. For example, if their work starts at 8:30, they will wake up by 8:25, do some personal hygiene, skip breakfast and then work until lunch. Since people can sleep in, they tend to go to bed later. This lifestyle, however, is impossible once you get back to work. 

One of the first steps to make you more prepared is to adjust your sleeping habits back to what they used to be before the social distancing. Also, you need to ensure that you have quality sleeping time so that you are energized the next day you come to work.

Tidy your up home and workspace

One recommendation is that you can clean your house and workspace more often. This is to ensure better hygiene and thus safety. Besides, tidying up can be a good remedy for your mental health. When you do the clean, you will be temporarily relieved from the stress at work. Also, a good working environment and living space motivate you to work better. 

Psychologist Susan Albers, Cleveland Clinic, USA, gives advice on this:

“If your office has been vacant for a year, it may need some refreshing or cleaning. (...) Add some new pictures and make it look nice and pleasant. A pleasing, clean, and organized environment is good for your mental health. Being in one can also help reduce your stress level, particularly your cortisol hormone level (the stress hormone).”

Take preventive measures when receiving delivery services

Shopee, Now, Tiki, Lazada, you name it. Buying goods from these shopping apps has now been the norm in Vietnam, and delivery service is one of the rare activities allowed during social distancing. As we come back to the office, you can expect to see yourself and many of your co-workers receiving Shopee orders. 

While buying is an indispensable need, you need to be extra careful when contacting the delivery men. Always remember to keep a safe distance at 2 meters, wearing a mask, and wash your hands as you receive the order. 

Avoid unnecessary travel and gathering

Many people have the habit of gathering at the workplace or wandering around after work. However, we should avoid this as much as possible until the pandemic has settled down.

Stay away from fake news

The downside of social media is the rapid proliferation of false information. Unverified information can cause a lot of doubts, insecurities, and stress among people. Panic buying is one example of this. Hurf recommends that you stay alert to news on social media and be selective to the source of information. 

Follow the instructions and any updates from the government

Last but not least, it is crucial to keep yourself informed of any updates and instructions from the government. We don’t know if there is a new Covid-19 case around us or if another social distancing will happen again. Therefore, keeping updated with the latest information from the government will provide us with the preparation to make the right move.

The bottom line

The Covid-19 has a long-lasting effect on our lives, and there’s no way for us to predict when it stops. We can focus on things that are under our control and stay optimistic about the situation. As you return to work, we hope this article can provide you with some insights to remain safe and sound during the pandemic.

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