Returning to the Lab: 5 Tips for a Positive and Productive Experience
In some areas of the country, research labs are beginning to reopen after months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’ve been called back to work, you may find yourself feeling anxious, disoriented, and overwhelmed. Clear, frequent communication helps to relieve anxiety, so preparing and distributing a transition plan can help alleviate stress for you and your team. Follow these five tips to boost confidence and productivity as you adjust to the new normal.
1. Reconnect with People
It’s more important than ever to prioritize the needs of team members. Create an open and positive environment by listening, over-communicating, remaining flexible, and being available. Visit the National Safety Council for more tips on managing employee stress.
Designate time to reconvene both as a group and individually in a way you can that ensures comfort and safety. Include those who are still working remotely.
Try picking up the phone instead of relying on email or better yet, video chat when possible. Follow up with peers whose papers and emails you reviewed.
2. Reorient Yourself with SOPs, PPE, and Safety and Quality Regulations
Chances are that your lab must adhere to new safety and regulatory policies. Revisit existing standard operating procedures, review the new policies, and understand exactly what has changed. Check the CDC guidelines for the latest lab safety practices