Commentary: Ready To Go Back To The Office?
By getting back to work, that means getting back into your vehicle or public transportation conveyance and commuting back to your office.
“OK, everyone, get back to work!”
By getting back to work, that means getting back into your vehicle or public transportation conveyance and commuting back to your office. The same office you were asked to leave for health and safety reasons over two years ago.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is still around. There is a strain of it going around right now that is minor with a quick turnaround. That is, depending on how many jabs you got from the vaccine.
With the pandemic playing in the background, a lot of employers are asking their associates to return to the office. In some cases, without providing any options for doing their jobs at home. Just, “come back…it’ll be fine…you won’t regret it.”
I wonder how many of these workspaces have been fully prepared for the return of employees. Have these cube farms been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized? Has their IT infrastructure returned to pre-pandemic closure levels? What about everything else – office supplies, furniture…even their old office space?
Then, there’s the traffic. If you return employees back to work to pre-pandemic levels, then traffic levels will return accordingly, right? That would be the expectation.
One thing that might not return to normal would be public transit. Since commuters were told to go home and work, the bus route that would have taken them to their office was discontinued in order to save money against lost revenues from the fare box.
If you are asking – if not, ordering – employees back into the cube farm, have you considered everything else? Are your employee’s vehicles in working order? Has the exterior environment been maintained? Has security to re-established on the property? Are you giving your employees the chance to make childcare and school arrangements?
In the course of these past two-plus years, our routines have been flipped multiple times. While being grateful that technology has improved the way we do things, we still have to decide which “normal” we should live in today.
Still, you’re being asked to go back into the office. To a space that have not been occupied in over two years. To a commuter zone that you avoided during the same period of time. To find that you might not have an efficient, sustainable, and more affordable way to commute to work.
Can we do it? Are you able to do it?
It would be easy for me to say “no.” I have that disadvantage where I worked from home for years before the pandemic. My remote work is truly remote – which also includes some occasional office runs these days, as well as some on-site work.
George works from home, as well. I cannot speak on his behalf whether he should go back to his office or not. That’s his call.
However, this is not about neither of us at Team V&R. It is about you. It is your call whether you should heed the call of your superiors to return back to the office or not.
It may mean more wear and tear on your vehicle. It might mean finding a new way to get to work via public transportation, if the route you used to take has not been reinstated. We can add other summary issues, but it is still in your court to decide whether you should return to your office.
If you do, good luck. You’re going to need it.
All photos by Randy Stern