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It’s no surprise that things are different. These unprecedented times *heaves self out of third floor window* will most certainly lead to a new normal. *Climbs back to third floor and proceeds to jump out window again* The workplace is no different, and (if) when we return to work, things are likely going to look a little different. Here are a few ways office life might change when we get back into the office.
We won’t, like at all.
OK, so this is not necessarily about what your office might look like. I mean it is, but everybody’s offices will look like home offices, because they will be. Many people, having shown how easy it is to get shit done from home, might not go back into the office at all. And why would they? Working from home is great. The snacks aren’t free, but there’s a “no pants” policy that HR doesn’t actually have a problem with. We’re out of your jurisdiction, Kevin.
Many companies have already announced they’re not going to make employees come back. Most notably, Twitter. @Jack told his cronies to just stay home if you want. Facebook also gave employees the option to apply for permanent work from home. They do have to disclose where they’ll be living so that FB can cut their pay accordingly. Likely welcome, given the Silicon Valley real estate market in the present day. Zuck always checking in on that bottom line, that’s what we love about him.
Another trend we may see sooner than later is part-time work at the office. Most modern office designs are open office plans with seating arrangements that would make you jealous of the guy in the middle seat on a trans-Atlantic flight. The problem with that? The coronavirus thrives in tight spaces with shared air. So those offices are going to have to do a little adjusting.
We’ll also probably see employees broken out into “teams” that come in on alternating days per week. So, you and your team may only come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while another team works in-office Mondays and Wednesdays. This is assuming we adopt the 4 day weekend, which I have personally been lobbying for since middle school. If my boss is out there, you’re on notice.
Masks, gloves, sanitizer
The last option, and one that can be combined with part-time work, is that every time you go into the office, you’ll have your temperature checked and throw on a mask. Once you’ve done that, you’re stuck inside for the rest of the day. No coffee, no leaving for lunch. There will be hand sanitizers at every shared space, and the entire office will smell like cheap vodka. Not a bad thing at a bar or at home (thanks, Mom) but not ideal for 8 hours a day.
Regardless of which direction your office takes, there’s bound to be some changes. We’ll all get through it together, now, won’t we. Or maybe you started day trading on Robinhood and can just retire before you have to go back.
Adapt, overcome, keep producing mediocre work that’s good enough to not get you fired. See you corporate stooges out there (from six feet away, of course).
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