COVID Diaries Week 52: Back To Work.

We have made it this far. People at work have been reflecting on all the hard work undertaken to refit the workflows and workplaces, for safety, collegiality, for survival.

The meetings started off as daily; the work consumed everyone and everything. Then, to weekly cadence, monitoring, updating, seeking best practices. Now, the reverse process is underway. How do we revert to some kind of understood normal?

Having onboarded remotely, I have no specific muscle memory. I rely on years of generic experience of office life. I thought I would miss, but I have yet to. This speaks to the commitment of others to welcome and include me. Without that, workplace efficacy is difficult. I have relied on the kindness of strangers, such that they are no longer strangers. I am one of the team, and grateful for it.

But do I want to “go to work” everyday? No. I have established cadences and smart people have shown smart ways to make work move, to release into flow. Some/Much of that flow is better suited to remote work. We need to establish which is which.

What a fascinating undertaking. The future of work came at us fast; determining which parts of the past we wish to re-establish will be interesting. Hopefully, a co-created process with all impacted groups. I am thinking especially of those whose circumstances became particularly constrained during pandemic – parents of young children, those with compromised immunity; those who rely on public transit; those feeling more vulnerable in the outside world in uncertain times.

Inclusion has a new workplace definition.

This Much We Know.

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