Back to Work

With the ongoing relaxation of COVID restrictions, the office is slowly reopening and I am now travelling to Brussels twice a week. I still have to wear a mask on the train, but the expectation is that this restriction will be lifted next week. Apart from that, it’s surprising just how normal everything feels.

While it is nice to see people again after a two-year absence, I can’t honestly say that I missed anyone. This, as a colleague suggested, may be an age thing — I have never had, nor wanted, a social life based around work and, living with a family of five makes it impossible to feel isolated. If I was still single and living alone, I may well have felt differently.

I didn’t miss the commute, though, and standing on a packed train while trying to avoid ending up with someone’s elbow in my nose reminded me just how much I didn’t miss commuting. Oddly, the journey home is always worse than the journey in.

There are, of course, some advantages to being in a shared office space, the main one being that it is a lot easier to resolve confusion and misunderstandings when you can wander over to someone’s desk and hold a face to face conversation.

It may be related to the fact that I work in corporate IT, but I do find it surprising just how much is simply not understood. The thing is, you never realise just how much people people didn’t understand until you are looking over their shoulder while they try to do what you have just explained.

That said, this is not something I need to do every day, and I really didn’t miss the commute.

I also didn’t miss the experience of discovering that the only coffee machine in the building has stopped working. This never happens at home.

8 thoughts on “Back to Work

    1. Two days a week isn’t too bad, I’m hoping that things stay like this for the foreseeable future.

      It was quite a blow though when, on the first day back, I found that the coffee machine wasn’t working. I had to go out for a coffee 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Working in office space is massively over rated and working from home is much better over being able to do the job, if suitable. Or just a choice over it helps over people wanting to reclaim both time and money over commuting or feel not suited to work politics. I don’t gear my social life around work. either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly wouldn’t want to go back into the office every day, but two days a week feels like a reasonable balance. I think I will to be able to continue working from home for at least some of my time, but I suspect the precise balance may change over the next few months.


  2. Maybe it the commute that’s putting you off. I am in one day week that partly because there is reconstruction at our campus.
    I cycle in the summer months. It a lovely twenty minutes cycle though the countryside. I get to the campus. Which is the middle of the Cheshire countryside will a grand hall called Radbroke which is within the campus.
    Strangely I am never tried of the office. Maybe it is because I live alone. At 5pm I will happily get on the bike and cycle home. Then work from home tomorrow.
    I enjoy both but I think it helps me living only two miles away from the office. Getting free coffee in the office helps as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The commute certainly doesn’t help but I am also able to enjoy a lot more flexibility when working from home. I have managed to stick to reasonably normal office hours while working from home, but it has been handy to be able to quickly pop out to (for example) fetch a sick (not Covid) child from school.

      Being out in the countryside is certainly a bonus and I have enjoyed being able shut down my laptop and take an hours walk in and around the local nature reserve. Tramping through the streets of Brussels doesn’t have the same appeal.


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