The return to the office. No party poppers though!

Alarm clock set for the earliest since March 2020! Even my youngest complained that I’d woken him up (though personally I just thought karma to that!). Thankfully my trousers still fitted (but weird having worn shorts since 16 March 2020). The drive to work was like it was in February and March. Traffic levels felt the same. 

Pre-office ritual of a Cafe Nero. Impressed by the fact the Barista remembered my name and order – a clear sign I use to drink too much coffee! Arrival in the office felt strange at first. I’ll be honest – working out where I could and couldn’t go but quickly was rescued and inducted. After that other than being more spaced out that before it felt like a normal day in the office:

  • Discussions with colleagues in Audit both face to face and over video calls;
  • Reviewing documents and files;
  • Catching up with colleagues from other lines of service (over a coffee ofcourse); and
  • Managed to get an hour walk by the canal while doing some catch up calls. 

I had picked today deliberately because my diary was full of reviews and short chats which did allow me in between to have just more general chats with people, some of whom I’d not seen for 5 months. 

I left the office feeling good. It was a different kind of day to the past 5 months. I often forget that “quick chats” are work. Agreeing an approach. Clarifying a result. Having a team huddle. So a day filled with short bursts can feel like an unproductive day in terms of output but receiving a message from a team member thanking me for taking the time to discuss an approach shows the impact it makes. 

Will I be in the office everyday. No. Will I be in once/twice a week. Certainly. Hybrid working across client sites, offices and home working is the future. The balance between them will vary from people to people reflecting different situations.

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