Returning to the office after more than 18 months feels weird. The last time I was there was some time around the winter holidays at the end of 2019 or early 2020. Then came my educational leave and with it (remember: coincidence, not causality) came the pandemic and all of a sudden I was first at home for work, then for education, then for work again. I no longer had a desk nor anything at the office at all.
This week, my team got a new office in Graz and so I decided I’d try to at least be there again on some days of the week. Knowing myself I was actually quite surprised how much I missed at least some parts of the office culture. Some parts of coordinating and exchanging information are just easier when you don’t need a Slack channel or a Zoom call for it. It’s also really nice to go to the restaurant with co-workers or just grab a Dürüm and then sit together in the office and talk about stuff.
So for the foreseeable future I want to spend at least a day or two at the office and then stay at home during the rest of the week, trying to find a proper balance between high-concentration work, which is something I can do at home, and work that requires lots of coordination. Obviously, that’s something that also requires the employer to be OK with it. Luckily, I think NETCONOMY is going a really good job there, trying to make the office space as safe as possible for everyone with new room arrangements (we got a completely new floor!), desk separators, and just overall good policies which make finding your own balance possible.
I really hope that we can get through the Delta and µ-variants without requiring a lockdown again. As for a return to work-from-home 100% of the time, let’s put it this way: I really appreciate that I can see my friends and co-workers for real from time to time 🙂 At the same time, being 100% remote is also really nice as long as there are something like summits or similar events.