With that sense of normalcy, more people will soon be returning to the office. What are you going to find?
Stepping back into your office after 14 months might be a little interesting. That plant on your desk you forgot about, oh well. The gym bag with the sweaty clothes under your desk, don’t open the bag. What about the sandwich you put in your drawer for “tomorrow”… hmmm. Other food you may have kept for later might be an interesting science experiment. If you had a pack of twinkies they’re probably fine.
Other things to worry about. Clothes? Personal Hygiene? It’s best to start preparing: Commuting, wardrobes, lunches, daycare, the dog, all that stuff will need to be dealt with, but an even bigger problem—how do you reinstall your own filters?
For the past year, people were in meetings with a mute button available. The eye rolls off-camera, the snarky comments, the disparaging nicknames, how do you train yourself to keep the thought bubble closed?
Another serious thing to remember are your other senses. With Zoom meetings you really only have to appear “respectable” from the shoulders up. Coffee breath — who cares? Has it been a few weeks since you showered, who would know? Just remember when you meet people in person you cannot ‘turn off video.’ Yes, they can smell you too.
And try to keep in check your reaction to your co-workers. Remember they were stuck inside too, so be kind. The added weight, the receding hairlines, be prepared. Remember going to your fifth high school reunion? It might be a little like that.
So be kind to your fellow co-workers, and remember there is no mute button anymore.
Editor’s Note: The Scallion is a lighthearted attempt to poke gentle fun at ourselves. It’s satire and not to be taken too seriously.