I don’t want to give up deep, focused work just to go back to the office
When I got word that the FDA had approved and were starting to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, I should have been a little happier about it — people are dying, struggling to pay their bills, and/or dealing with mental health.
I hope this vaccine will help prevent the deaths of more people and will get businesses (especially small ones) back up and running. I do.
But, selfishly, I was a bit disappointed that I have to think about transitioning back into a routine that includes going back into an office every day (or more than I am now). I love my coworkers and I love the work that we do, but I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on how remote work has complexly changed the way we work and interact with each other — and it has been almost all for the better.
I’m not going to go fully into the details here, but there are several things that I’m going to have a hard time adjusting to when going back into the office.
The amount of distractions
I work in an open office environment, which means that most days that I’m not sitting through meetings I will sit at my desk with headphones on trying to block out all the disruptions that happen during the day. Sometimes I do it to myself — I’ll hear a coworker talking about a project and want to chime in. Other times, people will ignore the fact that I have headphones on and walk up to my desk and knock on it like it’s a front door. I’m guilty of doing the same thing to people.
I’m much less distracted at home.
The ability to facilitate workshops
Quickly into transitioning to remote work I adopted Mural — an amazing app for holding remote facilitation sessions. Helping teams collaborate more efficiently and pull out new ideas is one of my favorite parts of what I do for a living.
Facilitation complexly online has had some benefits that I didn’t see during in-person sessions. For instance, I was doing a workshop on goals and asked the participants to start…