It's the first day at my new job. Meaning, I'm in the living room on a video call with a group of people I've never met — they're in Poland, I'm in Amsterdam. My son Gaspar, who's at home because daycares are closed, is screaming for me in the background while Diogo is trying everything to calm him down. The door bell rings and our dog, the moody bitch I've told you about, starts howling hysterically as per usual — to her, anyone who rings our bell is a potential threat. I just keep smiling at the screen, trying my best not to lost my shit. The truth is, I'm about to lose my shit.
I MISS THE OFFICE. ANY OFFICE.
Obviously this whole scenario I just described above is the main reason why I'm longing for it so much, but honestly I also just miss the concept of an office: the dynamic, the culture, even the Susans. Especially now that I've started a new job, and have never actually met my colleagues in real life — isn't that weird? What's even weirder is that at this point it's not even that weird. This has become the norm.
I recently left my full-time job at Amsterdam-based brand Ace & Tate and started working as a freelancer for a fintech in London, as well as part-time for a brand in Warsaw. And although I was excited about the prospect of WFSH (Working From Somewhere Hot) whenever I wanted, now I'm wondering — will I actually ever get used to this office-less life? I might not be cut out for it.
While everyone is going on about the wonders of working from home — how it's made them less anxious and instead more focused and productive — I've began to mourn the good old days of the office, and how the office as we know it will probably never be the same again. Yes, I love that I can look at my dog all day, go to the gym at 3pm and, my favourite, send emails from the bathtub, but honestly sometimes I miss having a designated routine and schedule, a place to go, people to see. Is that crazy? My friend Dijana (<3) says I have Stockholm Syndrome.
The other day, while I was putting on the same pants for the 10th day in a row, it occurred to me that I no longer have to dress for work, and that made me a little sad. Who's going to judge or love my outfit now if not my colleagues? Honestly, sometimes a good outfit could be enough of a reason to get up in the morning. I also miss snacking all day at my desk and telling people "I'm so hungry today", when everyone knows I'm actually "so hungry" everyday of the week. I miss complaining and procrastinating in unison — I wouldn't feel so guilty if we were doing it together.
Maybe that's what I'm missing most — the camaraderie? I was thinking about this the other day: I was never in a sports team (because I suck at sports), and never belonged to any sort of club (because I was that kid that never stuck to any activity), so before getting a proper job, I never really knew what it felt like to be part of a team, working towards the same mission. Am I sounding really lame? I know I'm not the only one missing the presence of co-workers.
On a positive note, I do believe that team banter and bonding is still possible through a chatroom as proved by this fantastic exchange.
On yet another positive note, Gaspar has now gone back to daycare (for the time being), so I no longer have to pretend to be a dinosaur 5 hours a day and can actually do some work. Also, the greatest decision I have made so far in 2021 was renting a space at a friend's studio — the idea of having somewhere to go gives me great joy.