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.