Back to Work (from your Rooms)

1st Sep, 2020

A popular post on LinkedIn asks people to react with a thumb up, a heart, clapping hands, a light bulb, a ‘support’ symbol, a curious emoji, according to how often they’d like to work from home. Thumb up for five days a week, curious for Monday to Friday in the office.

In one case, 461 respondents reacted with a thumb up (five days) and 168 with ‘support’ (three) - followed by 107 hearts (two), 80 clapping hands (four), 26 curious emojis (none) and 23 light bulbs (just one).

Any useful data will be unlikely to result from the survey, as users have been reposting the same question chaotically. What it does show is the extension of the discussion.

The New York Times recently published an article about flexible work that wonders: what if this will go on forever? “Miserable as it can often be, remote work is surprisingly productive — leading many employers to wonder if they’ll ever go back to the office.” It’s not the point, the author concludes, “as much as our offices can be inefficient, productivity-killing spreaders of infectious disease, a lot of people are desperate to get back to them.”

It’s probably true that many among us are looking forward to being back. To the same old habits, the colleagues’ faces, meaningful hours spent outside the living room. It’s also undeniable that many among us learned how to be productive during a pandemic and developed brand new habits, valued more their beloved ones, spent splendid futile hours in the living room.

Some people in the meetings industry are going to sit at their desks soon again, others not quite yet because restrictions in place make opening an office difficult. However, 126,000 event jobs will be gone according to the Meetings Industry Association.

A very strange summer is ending and for spiritual types, the real New Eve, a more legitimate one, falls at some point in September. So it can be exhausting to face all the difficulties laying upon the sector.

While autumn can be the season of new beginnings, we have to accept the fact that the pandemic is not over and more of our patience is required to succeed. After all, half of the people answering the survey on LinkedIn claimed to be willing to work from home the entire week!

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