So that’s that – back to the office for the majority of my working days. I wonder if it’s for good this time or I’ll be bouncing back and forth between working in the office and working at home forever, like I’m on the end of a bungee cord that never loses it’s ping.
Almost everyone I meet prefers working at home and I do get it. There are definitely positives.
I can get up later, not dry my hair, pretend my internet connection is dodgy when I want to eat a doughnut, not pay for travel costs and wear jogging bottoms or enormous fluffy slippers if it takes my fancy. I get to have lunch with my husband (who also makes me practically every coffee and tea throughout the day like I’m some kind of aristocrat) and be here when the kids walk in from school (even if they usually aren’t that keen to talk to me). I can hang the washing out when the sun shines, and I don’t have to remember to take a packed lunch, my purse, a mask, 18 notebooks and a phone charger. And when stuff gets delivered someone is always in to open the door. It’s also very unusual for me to be late.
However, I just really prefer being in the office. I maintain I’m in the kind of job where face to face is better, and I love catching up for a few minutes while the kettle boils with someone I don’t actually live with. At home I get up from my desk way less than I do at work (and since Paul brings me coffee there doesn’t seem much of a need to stand up) and I work longer because I don’t make myself stop at a reasonable time to miss the mass town exodus that happens at 4.45pm.
It’s really about people for me. Seeing friendly faces I don’t know in the coffee shop, a trip to a shop I love to mooch in my lunch hour, a chat and a joke with my colleagues, a supportive conversation (this works both ways round), and just a different world outside my window – even if the noise of the cement lorries and building work is a little distracting. I get to use a printer, open letters, look for things by opening drawers and write things on a white board if I want to. I rarely want to but having the option is weirdly freeing.
So I’m happy to be back (of course I’ll still be moaning when I have to leave the house at 730am), and quite honestly I feel ready to get on with it. I wonder how long this feeling will actually last…