Labs & musings

Back to work Back to work

Culture / 09.06.2020

Back to work

Now that you shopped all the shops, walked all the walks and re-friended all your friends, it is time to go back to the office.

Some few months ago at the beginning of this Corona crisis we published a blog post about working from home so it seems fair that we have a closing one now when things are starting to go back to normal (at least here in Croatia) about going back to work.

It's not end of spring break but easing of quarantine

Or as they call it here restriction relaxation, so don't go all wild now. I see people partying and hanging out in parks and bars like there is no tomorrow. Well, if we all take little caution, there will be tomorrow so keep the distance.

You don't need to see all your friends in the first few days, nor do you need to shop for new clothes immediately or check the new furniture (and if you are out there for the meat balls, remember that Ikea released its famous recipe[1]). Now, don't get me wrong, I am not telling you not to shop (please do), I am telling you to use the internet for more than cute cats and Instagram. And if you really really want to see your friends IRL don't do it in the most crowded city park or a bar, instead opt for something more private - maybe somebody's back yard or a smaller hidden park. Now, I know it is hard[2], and I myself am guilty of going to Ikea in the first days of reopening (rethink minimalist lifestyle if you are clumsy), but try to restrict your time in the store, wash and disinfect your hands and so on. Virus is still out there, so we need to find a way to coexist.

Back to the office

Now that you shopped all the shops, walked all the walks and re-friended all your friends, it is time to go back to the office.

As you can see from my previous point, that means that a lot of people potentially with a lot of friends or shopaholic drives got back in a smaller shared area.

The same rules apply here as well - disinfect, keep the distance, air the rooms, don't come in sick, and wear a mask if needed. This is just basics, and you can polish it just as we did in Syntio. We can still work from home, and for those who are really missing their colleagues (or you know, time off from kids, we don’t judge), we have limited number of available seats in the office and all they need to do is fill in the schedule when they want to come. We will love you less (and disinfect you more) if you come by public transport, but most people cycle or drive anyway. Since there have been no new cases of Covid infection in Croatia in the last few weeks, we are preparing to get back to normal soon, but have an adjusting period.

I am aware that unfortunately not all companies offer this privilege of choosing if you want to come in or not and are forcing their employees to come back, but still, try to do what is best for you, use stairs instead of elevators (good luck if you are on 16th floor like we are), keep the distance, eat your lunch at your desk or in a park/outside if possible. Take regular breaks and even try to go out for a short walk. Don’t be ashamed to wear a mask even if nobody is wearing it. I am here talking about hospital masks, not a complete batman suit.

It's a mad world out there

Although what seems like a majority of people is out having a blast, there are some individuals that seem scared to go back out. Some are scared of virus and some have been self-isolated for so long, that they are scared of other people.

I am not a psychiatrist but a data engineer so I can only assume (or do a SWAG[3]) this is normal considering circumstances. I can only try to offer you some ideas on how to tackle this from what I collected talking to my friends and colleagues.

First is to start small - take a walk in the evening through the usually busier part of town. You want a busier part of town because you want to get adjusted to people. Meet one friend (pick the introverted one, you know he/she didn't go anywhere) or go for an outside chore that offers the least amount of contact - like pedicure maybe or pet grooming if you have a pet, although I hear they have their hands full these days.

If you can, go work from the office before you are officially due to be back, so that you meet some but not all people or try to go there before/after work hours just to "breathe in the place" (nobody is watching, but still wash your hands).

For me personally going out for the first time was a weird experience and I am still adjusting to the office (we are currently coming in 2 groups every other day), but taking things slowly and having things that need to be done among people has helped me adjust. What amazes me is the amount of people that don't take any precautionary (recommended) measures starting from basic one of keeping the distance. So yes, start slow, take time, keep the distance and wash your hands. You can still enjoy your work and your life within this new normal.

Knowledge grows when you share it, so if you have some tried and tested advice, let us know!

References: 

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