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Image by Lukas Blazek

Wabi Blog

Returning to the Office Post Pandemic: What I Learned

First things first. I want you, dear reader, to know that I know I am one of the lucky ones who a) was allowed to maintain full-time employment during a world emergency and b) was permitted to do this from my home. I do not and never will take this for granted. There were several days during Wisconsin’s “Safer At Home” order where not only was being able to work one of the first things on my daily gratitude list, but also, as I allowed myself to consume at times horrific news reports, I recognized all over again that same day, how lucky I was.

Now. I was called back to the office at a time when many in the state were still at home. I was/am also eight months pregnant. So…take the following with these grains of salt in mind.

The first day back was ROUGH

I was prepared to work all day. I was not prepared/had selective memory that people just come up to you and tell you things and ask you questions WHILE you are working all day! So, in addition to working all day, you have to be “on”!! For example, I was informed of a horrific labor story (yikes, can’t wait), asked if I had my hospital bag packed (does half-way count?), and judged on the way I was walking (um did you want me to describe the current location and level of pain I am having?!) all before 9am. It was exhausting, but once your amnesia of daily office banter goes away, your working-and-being-on-all-day muscle strengthens, and it gets easier.

Good habits from quarantine can continue

While in lockdown, many of us took up a positive new habit and got on a huge walking kick. Since I currently commute an hour each way to the office, during quarantine, I had been using my “extra” commuting hour in the mornings to get more rest (sleeping in an extra 30 minutes) and exercise (30 minutes). Now, with the due date looming and my nights of precious sleep numbered, I decided not to skimp on sleep for exercise before work. And, I really missed it! So, I started a new “I now exercise during lunch” routine. My coworker told me about this nearby park with a pond and a walking trail and I can walk there or do prenatal yoga under tree. It breaks up the day and keeps my nagging apple watch activity drill Sargent off my back.

Gratitude list needed!

To help me keep a positive attitude about being back in the office while many who are not in field or healthcare jobs are still at home, I made a list: “Good things about returning to work” (so original, I know.) I keep it in my email drafts and add to it as I identify the positive aspects of being back. Here is what I have so far:

  • It feels less like groundhog day

  • My newfound quarantine walking at lunch habit led me to discover a new park with a pond and trails and can also do yoga in the cold dark basement on hot days

  • The internet speed is faster so I can be more productive

  • Inspired a new blog about preparing to return to the office post-COVID (yup, you’re currently reading it!)

Whether you’re still at home or back in the office, what are your thoughts on returning to work? Send me a note and I just might share your insights on my next Facebook or Instagram story.


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