Has it been weeks, months, or even years since you physically went back to the office? Returning back can be a daunting task for anyone. One of the biggest things about working in the office versus your own home is your stuff- or lack thereof. When transitioning from the work from home (WFH) environment to a physical space, figuring out what to bring with you can be a challenge. As the Community Coordinator here at FireWorks Coworking in Marietta, Georgia for the past 3 years, I like to think that I have seen it all when it comes to being over or under prepared for a day’s work at the office. Today we will be going over a few of my go to office essentials that I use to walk into the office feeling prepared and confident to face the day.
First things first when preparing your book bag or tote to go to the office and that is the classic
1) Charger Roll Call:
Before you embark on your journey to your new office space, you need to make sure that you are going to have enough juice to get through the day. There is nothing worse than making it all the way to the office pumped to put in some hard work only to be met with the dreaded red battery symbol half way through. The reason we call this the Charger Roll Call is because you need to make sure you have a charger for everything with a battery. Now I know life isn’t easy for us Apple users nowadays with the sheer vastness of required chargers for our products but this part of packing is essential.
Pro tip: I highly recommend investing in a charger organizer pack. It helps not only with organizing your chargers, but it also reduces the chances of forgetting (what will end up being) your most important charger for that given day. Check out one of my favorite inexpensive charger organizers on Amazon.
2) Your Phone:
I know what you’re thinking, Courtney I bring my phone with me everywhere I go, I would never leave my house without it. That’s all fine and good but take it from my experience triple check yourself for your phone before you leave your house. With cross-device-compatibility becoming the norm nowadays, it is easy to be hard at work on your tablet or laptop while still keeping up with your phone notifications. The problem with this comes into play when you forget that your device is not actually on your person and you walk away without it. Many office spaces are adopting a new system that allows your mobile device to be registered as your entry key. This new process allows many spaces to run without the need for human intervention such as a receptionist. This means that leaving the house without your phone could result in your inability to properly access your office.
Pro tip: Create a checklist for yourself on your phone before you plan to leave your house to ensure that you have it on your person before you leave. It can be tempting to type one up on your laptop or simply write one on a piece of paper. Using your phone as a checklist reminds you to not only check to make sure you have your phone but also allows you to create a digital record of things you frequently need to bring with you on any given day. Check out one of my favorite checklist apps called Monday. This app is great because it works on both IOS and android devices so if you ever decide to switch up your tech, it will remain with you for years to come.
3) Your Laptop:
While some offices and coworking spaces may provide monitors (for free or for rent) many people prefer to work on their own secure server. There are a few reasons that some people feel this way, however, the most common reason is having access to your saved files. When working with a borrowed monitor, saving your work to a secure location that you will have access to in the future can be challenging without a file saving tool such as a USB drive which can leave room for error if you forget or misplace it. Additionally, some companies have policies against exporting specific files and confidentiality which could cause a problem if you forget to bring your own laptop. Another factor to take into account is the availability of rentable monitors in your office or space. Overall these policies can make it more cost effective, secure, and overall more convenient to bring your own laptop when visiting a coworking space or heading into the office. If having a full screen monitor is essential for your day to day activities, check out some of the portable multi screen monitors like this one from Team Gee.
Pro tip: If you NEED to rent or borrow a monitor for your office, it is best practice to call your space ahead of time and reserve it if possible as many spaces only carry a limited amount of monitors per space and may be subject to availability.
4) All of the LAYERS:
One of the biggest and most overlooked differences between working from your own home to working in the office is that you no longer have complete control over the thermostat. While most office and coworking spaces tend to keep their thermostats regulated around 70-75 degrees, there is no telling exactly how your body temperature will fare with their space settings. Coming prepared with layers will allow you to ensure your own comfortability regardless of the temperature of your surroundings.
Pro Tip: Yes, this does have the possibility of bulking up your daily haul if you’re constantly bringing jackets and t-shirts back and forth from the space. In an effort to reduce your daily haul check with your space operator and see if there is a place you can store your jackets for easy access during your workday.
5) Your Snacks and Stanley:
While some private offices and coworking spaces may offer free snacks as an amenity, keep in mind that these snacks are typically generic and may not align with your dietary restrictions. It is best practice to aire on the side of caution when it comes to how you plan to get your 2:30 power kick. Additionally, some spaces may offer snacks as a paid feature, and while these snacks are typically catered more towards specific dietary trends such as Keto, and Vegan which tend to come at a higher price point than snacks you may be able to buy in bulk. Take a look at what your snacking tendencies are and plan for something that will align with your lifestyle.
Pro Tip: Bring your Stanley (or favorite insulated cup) to help reduce the amount of times you need to refresh your beverage. Most insulated cups range from 30 fl oz to 64 fl oz meaning you can fill up significantly less times than if you were using a standard glass, and you don’t have to worry about your drink becoming warm or cold during the course of your workday.
When navigating the transition from home to the office, thoughtful preparation is key to a seamless and productive day. Today we learned to prioritize essentials like the Charger Roll Call, a phone checklist, the comfort of your own laptop, dressing in layers for office temperatures, and packing personalized snacks with a reliable Stanley. These simple yet crucial elements will not only keep you prepared but also ensure you confidently face the dynamic challenges of your workday. Welcome back to the office with confidence and efficiency!