I don’t want to give up deep, focused work just to go back to the office

uxBrad
5 min readDec 17, 2020

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

This is mentally how it feels working in an open office.

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

Ahh. Sticky notes, markers, and oversized sheets of paper. That’s how you know ideas are being created.

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…

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uxBrad

I’m Brad Cooper — UX Practitioner. A11y Evangelist (CPACC). Blockchain Enthusiast. Web Theorist. Find out more on how I work at https://uxBrad.com.