My office knows me as the open-air office evangelist. I saw our group go from a team-derived clique system to a cohesive family unit over the first month we acclimated to our open-air office, after years of being in cubes, separated by department. It was the eavesdropper in me, I couldn’t help myself but involve myself in conversations being had in front of my face, and that, in turn, became team synergy, camaraderie, and a fair amount of heckling.
I do miss the heckling, to be honest, but we’ve all been rightfully grateful to have the ability to stay healthy and keep working apart these past few months. As states move from yellow to green, and from phase to phase, we are starting to think about how the office will change—and what, if anything, can stay the same?
While we are working from home week in and week out, the lines between personal and professional time blur together like the days of the week. In the last few weeks, I’ve found myself thinking “Oh great it’s Monday” only, surprise! it’s actually Thursday! (this has happened more than once). I find myself logging in earlier, and sending emails later, and checking my inbox when I’m walking the dog, reading the chats from my Microsoft Teams app on my phone while making a meal, and overall just obsessing about work way more than I should.
Now, like most Americans, I have nowhere to be at the moment. The only place I can be is home. But after overthinking if I should ask for a day off while simultaneously thinking about what I would even do with the time, I logged 8 hours of paid time off (PTO). Let me tell you, dear reader, it was a well allocated resource, and I hope I can inspire you to put your time off to good use too.
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