Sitting Under White Lights- Return To The Office

We’ve received that gentle nudge to return back to the office a few days a week.

I started my current role after the pandemic started so have only met my desk in recent weeks. It’s a room with glaring white overhead lights and a tinted window that looks out to another building’s wall. If bend over and angle your head, you might see the sky.

Photo by Proxyclick Visitor Management System on Unsplash

You could say it’s badly designed and doesn’t inspire me to go in. Frankly, I could work from home forever and don’t feel the need to “bounce ideas off each other” or make myself feel better by socialising.

Considering how much time was spent in the workplace, little thought seems to have gone into it. The walls and ceiling are all white. Everything is so white.

You always hear that a good working space should have a lot of natural light, plants, wood and some colour. I’ve yet to meet an office space that I like and has all these elements.

There is no lounging area or small meeting rooms where small team meetings can occur. To me, having these spaces allows for more thinking out the box, more socialising between teams and offers some space for privacy for phone calls especially when shared offices or open offices are the norm these days.

Photo by Thea Ye on Unsplash

It is also freezing cold. I’m so use to offices being cold, you just have to have a jacket or scarf with you at all times. The afternoons are spent going to the kitchen to prepare more tea to keep warm.

But I’m not sure why. If our work can be done remotely, why shouldn’t remote working just be the norm now? It means that people can be in locations that they want to be in, working the hours that they can or working around other commitments. It means less time commuting and having to organise one’s self.

Perhaps this is what is feared. Employees gaining their life back.

What would the perfect workplace look like to you?

11 thoughts on “Sitting Under White Lights- Return To The Office

  1. I agree that employers need to free up the working conditions. Society benefits and the odd bludger will bludge whether they are at the home or workplace. In fact, the decline in conversation in corridors might actually result in more work being done!

  2. I’m in the opposite state in which I’ve been going into the office for work, despite the pandemic. Knock on wood that I haven’t caught COVID-19 from this, and I’m waiting for the day that I can be sent off to WFH. It’s going to take a while! I do believe that companies can really save money by not renewing leases on office space and have employees work 100% remotely; there are even studies that show workers are more-productive at home than at the office. Alas, I guess some people are still stuck on the mindset of “traditional” office space, as well as meeting coworkers/friends to chat and hang out with at the water cooler…the pandemic has certainly put office work into a different perspective and perhaps one day, we’ll all be WFH!

    1. Wow! They sent everyone home this time last year when the pandemic started and it was even state law that employees who can work from home should work from home. What is the thinking behind keeping everyone at the office? I have felt more productive at home because there is less chatting and time going to find people etc. It is the way of the future, less skyscrapers and more green spaces please!

  3. What an interesting post, I’ve been wondering how the workers who have been working remotely will adjust once they go back to the building. I’m not in the workforce right now, but I did work in offices before I left the workforce. I know what you’re talking about when you describe your workspace. My perfect workplace would be my home, honestly. For all the reasons that you mention in your post, less time commuting, which means, less likely to get sick. Also, working from home allows you to have more work-family balance.

    1. At my last company, I worked from home most of the week so being in the office now is such a shock for me. So true that we are less likely to get sick too. There’s always that winter office bug that goes around and it doesn’t help that we are in enclosed spaces.

  4. Having to go back only one day a week doesn’t sound great to me – especially if your working environment is not great. I just don’t understand why some companies push their employees to do that, it doesn’t make any sense to me! I would prefer either working from home everyday or going to the office every day… or at least having the possibility to chose..! I think I have really enjoyed homeworking in the past year, and I will probably have a hard time adjusting to the office again, but luckily this time hasn’t come yet!

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