A “return to work” was recently announced. Since I’ve been working remotely for more than a year now, it is really a return to the office. I last worked in the office full time in mid-March 2020. I stopped over in June 2020 to pick up my office plants. While my boss kept up with the weekly watering, I wasn’t getting the same benefit. I’m happy to say that most of the plants survived. I’ve got a jade plant that is doing remarkably well in my home office.
The current plan is that we’ll be onsite Mondays and Thursdays starting in June. I stopped into the office today to meet up with a potential hire.
It was weird making the commute. I was happy that it wasn’t during the morning rush hour. But, I kept having to check myself to ensure I was in the correct lane. I distinctly remember asking myself how to get home during the return trip.
It was definitely weird being in the office. I’ve been in the office outside of work hours far too many times. So, the lack of people wasn’t odd. It was more because I had been away for so long.
Aside from the overturned trash cans (so that the cleaning crew knows they haven’t been touched), the first thing that hit me was a picture of my dogs. It was pretty recent that we laid one of to rest, and a few years since we had laid the other to rest.
It was hard not to sit there and cry for a bit. If I didn’t have an upcoming meeting, I might have closed my office door and done just that. The loss still feels acute.
Once I pulled myself back together, I started noticing other things: my wall calendar was now severely outdated. My page-a-day calendar was similarly obsolete.
Next, I noticed that my computer was not in its usual spot and most of the cables had been disconnected. In fact, only the power and network cables were connected! Since I was connected via RDP, that was all I really needed.
During the winter break, my computer had been swapped out as part of the maintenance plan. I was glad they still had my old computer because my wireless mouse’s dongle was still attached.
Talking with colleagues, it sounds as many are anxious about coming back to work. I think that is pretty understandable. I’ve already started hearing about people finding new opportunities so they can continue working remotely or at least have a more flexible schedule.