So we got the news that effective Monday, we will return to the office. *Note, not return to work because we have worked this entire 15 months, just safely from our homes.
I am not excited about this at all. I dare to say that I’m a little anxious about going to the office and interacting with coworkers again.
See, at the start of the pandemic, when the stay home-stay healthy (SHSH) order was issued I doubted that I had the discipline work from home. Even when we thought it was going to be just a few weeks, I cringed at the thought of taking my laptop home. I sincerely thought I’d treat it like a piece of exercise equipment. You know, the treadmill becomes an extension of our closet and we hang clothes on it.
Well around the 90 day mark, I found that even with the two hour meetings and the spotty connectivity issues, I do have the discipline to work from home. I realized that I actually like it! And I’m good at it too. I get up and pray, eat a real breakfast and then I’m at my desk knocking out task like a true boss-chick! I’m blessed to be an empty-nester so the distractions or interruptions are nil. Sure, somebody might ring me on Skype/Teams or maybe a family member might call to say hey, but those are easier to handle in my home office versus the agency office.
During the SHSH order, I’ve had to collaborate more with coworkers, some near, some far. That means I’ve built relationships. My critical thinking skills have improved. Nothing get the brain working like being challenged with pandemic induced governmental changes in law and procedures. This helped my research abilities too. Reviewing situations and actions to see what was right, what should be right and how to make it right made me dizzy at times. I’m getting better at all of it; like I said, boss-chick.
This winter, I didn’t buy any cold meds like Theraflu, Alka-Seltzer or Vick’s rub. I didn’t worry about a coworker getting sick and then everyone in the office getting sick, usually one or two at a time. I wasn’t concerned, if I had to commute to our other office, with where to sit on the bus or train to avoid anyone coughing or sneezing. And I think this is a big win because, truth be told, over-the-counter cold medications are expensive.
So now here we are with some people vaccinated & some not, some people wear a mask & some don’t, some people take basic precautions and some absolutely do not (they didn’t before the pandemic either) and now I’m expected to return to normal. Hey, psst, news flash, I don’t want to go back to pre-COVID normal. I like this new normal way better.
I like wearing comfortable PNW-casual Friday clothes everyday, I like not having a commute and I like having my own window office. I noticed I actually take a break and a bathroom break. For some reason I combine them when I’m in the office. I wonder if that’s a front desk worker issue? Bottom line upfront, I recognize that I’m very blessed, that I take delight in the work I do and really enjoy my work environment. In my humble opinion, it ain’t broke, so no need to fix it. However, since I’m not in charge, I’ll let you know how I’m living with this change in a few weeks.