With offices gradually opening back up, you may be planning your return - but do you remember the office fondly? We’ve compiled a list of 7 things that you’ve probably forgotten about working in an office, and they’re not all bad!
7. The joy of movement The commute is back! Whether it's walking, taking the train or rush hour on the road, we all know that the commute to work was hated in the past. After a year of varying degrees of lockdown, any outing is cause for excitement. Obviously there will be COVID restrictions in place nationwide, so you will need to see how your commute is affected. It will definitely mean a few more facemasks in the weekly wash and some hand sanitiser on you at all times, but we are used to that by now, right? On top of that, there is the added bonus of meetings IRL! It is the law of office work that, if you have back-to-back meetings, the second one will be at the opposite end of the building to the first. It may have been a struggle to rack up the recommended 10,000 steps whilst working from home, but soon you will be hitting that target every day!
6. Picking up the pace. Adding a commute to your days again is one thing, but don’t you remember how hectic your life used to be. Being back in the office again whilst having a young family means a non-stop day. From school run, to commute, to work, to commute, to school run again - and that’s without homework, dinner and bedtime. If one good thing came from the pandemic, it was that people stopped trying to cram too much in and slowed down a bit and we think it is vital to keep finding time to yourself. Whilst it can be hard to squeeze it in, there’s no need for you to feel guilty for wanting some time apart from your kids. Organise a weekend or after school playdate with your friend’s kids to allow you to relax and unwind for a few hours while they go off and have fun. You can always pick up a few playdate requests yourself, giving your friends some time to relax as well.
5. Waistbands For a lot of us, it’s been a while since we’ve worn anything other than leggings or pajamas during the week. Now it’s time to dig out the old work outfit to see how it fits! Many of us have fallen victim to the snackdemic that is COVID, but with all of the moving around and being away from the fridge, you’ll be back in your workwear in no time. That’s if you still need to - many companies have updated their dress code. Afterall, when everyone’s seen inside your spare bedroom, what’s the point in suiting up?!
4. Food habits For a lot of us, it’s been really handy and some would argue essential to have the fridge 10ft away at all times; but the reality for most is this won’t be the case when you are office based again. Whether you are hankering to get back to your old Pret sandwich, or you are enjoying spending less money, now is the time to get into some smart food habits. Sunday night meal prep? Dusting off the keep cup? Or maybe you’ve decided to jump straight into giving your local cafe a helping hand and treat yourself a few days a week… whatever you decide, there has never been a better time to start a positive food habit!
3. Getting ‘stuck at the office’ We all know some jobs require you to work late occasionally - maybe that is to hit a deadline or prepare for an important meeting. Either way, it can cause disruption when it comes to the school run. Of course not everyone in the office understands the need to dash off and get the kids. If you work with people that don’t have primary school children, slipping away to do the school run when everyone else is beavering away might make you feel like you are letting your colleagues down and is potentially perceived as though you are not committed to the project. There is the option of getting the kids and then starting work when you get home - after all, we can all work remotely now! But haven’t we got a bit sick of living in our workspace? As we hurtle back to normality, now is the time to start planning what you will do about childcare. Obviously the scramble for after-school clubs has to happen at a certain time (booking opens at 11am and by 11:01am spaces at the most popular activities are taken). However, if it is a childcare professional that you need, now is the time to start looking - we know that it can take time to find the perfect person. For everything else, there is the Fetching app, so make sure it is on your phone and ready to go!
2. Water cooler socials Getting back into the office means the return of the regular catch ups between you and your colleagues. You don’t need to discuss the finale of Line of Duty over Slack, you can now chat about it in person by the water cooler while you’re there for a ‘refill’... We’ve missed the social interaction that comes with working in an office. Complaining to people you scarcely know, sharing things you might not share with your regular friends. You can be whoever you want to be in the office (and maybe even unload a few home frustrations at the same time!)
1. Loving your home again
No one can deny that returning home after a long and stressful day at the office is the ULTIMATE relief. Plonking yourself down in front of the telly with a cup of tea or a glass of wine is the perfect way to unwind and leave the stresses of the workplace behind. That’s been much more difficult when you’ve had the same glass of wine since 11am and your workplace is still within eyeline of the telly. Going back to the office means we will once again relish in this wonderful feeling of being home and to be able to separate them will be great!
I for one am incredibly excited to be getting back to an office in the near future. Are you?
Download the Fetching app today, for a hassle-free school run when you return to the office.