Travel to work, to meetings, to conferences. Travel across campus, travel across countries, travel time is extra, eating into time, into energy.
In the office, noise, fuss, “Have you got a minute?”, “I’ve a quick question”, background noise and disruption a constant.
Everything rushed, everything busy, everything fixed and structured.
Travel to sofa, to the garden, kitchen table commute! Or get in the campervan, commute to a reservoir or beauty spot to work.
Only office companion, a pet. Sat nearby, watching, calming… until the post man arrives, the dog’s arch-enemy, and 2 minutes of barking ensues. Others are on chat, email, Zoom, Teams – they can be silenced and dipped into when necessary. Accessible, within reach, but not constantly, distractingly present.
Everything calm, often self-paced, flexible to suit the day.
Back to the Office
Confusion for me – why? For control? Fear of management? Habit? Might end up a mix of home and office, the worst of both worlds, or the best? I don’t know… but I fear it’s the worst, how can it be the best without clarity? Without focussing “office” activities around those that are best experienced in person? When you also box in and constrain the benefits of home working, clocking on and off religiously, adapting to fit around others sat in an office a few miles away?
I fear it might be the worst, perhaps simply because we are losing the opportunity to create the “best” for work, for the team, for everyone, because of the unarticulated fears of the organisation. We’re losing the chance to make the best out of an office environment, and the best out of homeworking, by hobbling both of them.