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  • 1.  Gearing up for back to the office

    Posted 06-30-2021 20:01
    Hi fellow Connectors - I'm starting to think about gearing back up for what working in the office looks like and realized that there are going to be some major adjustments for me. For example, I don't think I've worn shoes in over a year. I've also completely stopped paying attention to the weather forecast because my longest commute these days is from my house 20 feet to my garage which can be done in any type of weather - no preparation needed. 

    I'm curious, for those of you who have adjusted to life working from home: What "funny" habits have you fallen into that will need to be adjusted before going back to work AND/OR for those of you that never stopped going in to the office or recently have started to go back in: What are some tips or things to look out for as we transition back into office life? (I'm looking at you @Quinn Drew and @Colette Martin-Wilde)

    Thanks for the #advice !


    Alison Randall

  • 2.  RE: Gearing up for back to the office

    Posted 07-12-2021 09:01
    I'm sitting back in my cube as I write this currently, @Alison Randall! I hear you on both the shoes and the weather, haha. As a cyclist/runner, I do check the weather before I head out for a ride or run, but I have definitely gotten out of the habit I was once in - checking the weather for the upcoming week! This did not do me well on my camping trip a couple of weeks ago, when I had to buy a winter hat on the road (I had no idea it'd drop into the 40s! - it's SUMMER!)

    One thing I am continuing to learn as I spend more time in the office (and less time in my home office), is just how many snacks I need to pack! Working from home, I'd gotten used to roaming to the kitchen for trail mix or a cheese snack before my belly starts to rumble. My commuting bag is probably 50% snacks these days, haha. 

    So my advice: bring snacks (like more than you think you'll need).

    Stay awesome,

  • 3.  RE: Gearing up for back to the office

    Posted 07-12-2021 22:21
    @Alison Randall @Quinn Drew, yes! It's going to be an adjustment! Oddly enough, one of the things I'll miss as we prepare to return to the office is saying hello to my mail carrier. I work in the room next to our front porch, so I see her delivering the mail every day. I've learned her name and little bits about her life. She knows the names of everyone in my family and also knows from a steady stream of packages that I do a lot of shopping online. :)  She really is the nicest woman-- it's been an unexpected joy of working from home. 


    Brianne Haxton

  • 4.  RE: Gearing up for back to the office

    Posted 07-13-2021 09:16
    Hello all, I spent a couple of weeks in the office and the thing that will probably be the hardest adjustment is, as @Quinn Drew pointed out, managing food and drink.  My eyes were opened at how much $ I saved not buying coffee for a year. Since coffee is still sub-par at the office, I'm considering a) forming a coffee club (though it's tricky - I only drink decaf), or b) bringing in a coffee press because I've been a coffee snob since the Mr. Coffee machine was invented (I was in college - it was a game changer).

    The other thing I noticed working in the office is that I need to redo my cube. It is a collection of things over time, many of which are gifts from people who left.  It's an archive of my time at Rotary and I'm thinking it needs a 100% refresh, but I've got no imagination for interior design. My decorating style is "British" according to the industry.  Eclectic accumulations of appreciated objects, furniture, etc.  that evolves over time.  Taking suggestions!

    Perhaps the biggest adjustment  will be continuing morning walks, before work with my husband, Martin. Over the last year, together we've gained a greater appreciation for each other, for mother nature and the wonder of the turning seasons in a way that we will never give up.

    I do look forward to reconnecting with all of my colleagues in the hallway and elevator.  I miss those encounters. They are emotionally energizing.  It's surprising how few people I work with on a regular basis.  

    For the most part, going back to the office is like slipping into an old pair of shoes. Whatever the new rules are, it'll be different, though not totally alien. I suspect we have all changed quite a bit after a year + in isolation, so we'll have to get to know each other again.  That'll be interesting.
    Enjoy the day!

    Colette Martin-Wilde

  • 5.  RE: Gearing up for back to the office

    Posted 07-29-2021 12:16
    Re coffee. there was a sort of coffee niche going on the 14th floor among the development team, Chris Brown and I. We all had some sort of coffee presses. Then I discovered Panera's Unlimited (sort of) coffee deal right before the pandemic. And now I have been making a daily journey their for my coffee. I priced it out, and at $8.99 plus tax a month, it still comes out cheaper than buying coffee -- either whole bean and grinding and using a press, or by cup. Plus, I make an occasional afternoon stop. The pandemic hit a week after I subscribed to the deal, but I found it still made a good destination for morning bike rides (there's two within three miles either direction.)
    The first two days before the pandemic, I made a couple trips to the Evanston one, which is conveniently only a long block from the office. I reckon it will be a regular pit stop on the way in on "office days."
    I have been thinking about the food thing. I don't snack a lot, but I do dislike having to pack a lunch. And being able to make lunch in the kitchen is super nice. I do not miss that narrow closet that passes for a kitchen on our floor.
    I also have been thinking about the need to complete all of these steps in the morning on office days -- get dressed (completely), eat breakfast, pack bag with lunch etc., ride bike or drive car to train station, wait for train, get off train, loop by Panera for coffee. Wait for elevator, Settle in to desk. Whew. I think I will be tired before the work day starts!!

    Arnold Grahl

  • 6.  RE: Gearing up for back to the office

    Posted 08-30-2021 07:42
    I also cant imagine my office routing without a coffee maker!
    Thanks god it is okay to have one installed in the office - no need to run to the nearest coffee shop, huh

    Alice Delonge

  • 7.  RE: Gearing up for back to the office

    Posted 08-30-2021 07:44
    I hear you, @Alice Delonge! As I went to type this response, I realized I hadn't un-glued my hand to my coffee cup since I poured it. Happy Monday! ​

    Stay awesome,