“Do you need chocolate?”
I looked up to see my colleague’s smiling face in my office doorway.
“Always!” I answered, grinning back.
Her question was in response to my groan of frustration when my computer refused to cooperate. Our team is made up of mostly women, so chocolate or wine is regularly offered up as a salve to almost any problem.
“See? You can’t get this banter working from home,” she shot back before disappearing back to her office.
She is right. Like many, our small team has been working from home since COVID-19 forced all businesses to close. It had its perks like an uber-casual dress code, no traffic and no lunch prep. Meetings were held via Zoom and, as far as business communications go, it was pretty effective. But Zoom can’t hold a candle to the real face-to-face exchanges that happen in the hallways, lunchroom and stairways of a workplace.
Now we are moving cautiously beyond Zoom. We’re slowly re-entering our workplace on staggered schedules, until we are back to a full, on-site team. There’s chatter at reception, music flowing from the sound system and life in the building again. We are careful to stay the requisite six feet apart and, when that isn’t possible, we wear masks. Gloves, wipes and hand sanitizer are now found in the supply cabinet along with pens, photocopy paper and paperclips. It is, as they say, the “new normal”.
We’re happy to see each other again but I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a little uneasy. There’s still so much to learn about this virus, including how long it will be among us. In the meantime, we are doing what we can to live as safely and as normally as possible with it.
This post was written in response to the daily word prompts provided by
Jibber Jabber with Sue for Day 14 (learn) and Day 19 (music).