One small step… Back to the office

Since the UK began lockdown back in March 2020, life became almost unrecognisable. Everywhere shut down almost overnight and going out even for exercise and shopping was limited to just the essentials. But now, 4 months later, restrictions are slowly beginning to lift. Many are now beginning to return to their offices instead of working from home and for some, it’s a welcome change to being stuck indoors, but for others, it’s too soon after the crisis. Right now, there are several questions on our minds – what do we do now that lockdown is easing? how does it feel to go back into the office? And what changes are we going to see and experience?

We asked 4 colleagues at Visionable what it’s like being back in the office and travelling on public transport.

“It was really weird at the start” says Isabel, Visionable’s Data Analyst. “Public transport is deserted during rush hour so we can socially distance, but it’s starting to get busier and busier now and once it picks up, it won’t be possible anymore”.

Over in our Kent office, Letitia, Executive Assistant to Alan Lowe has returned to the office full-time. “I don’t use public transport as I drive but I wouldn’t want to use it even now. The contact with people and everyone touching the same items would worry me. I would need to wear a hazmat suit to go on a bus!”.

“If you are concerned about using public transport, I would suggest you try and cycle if you can. It’s probably the safest way to get around.” Suggests Adam, Business Development Manager at Visionable.

One big question that’s been on everyone’s minds is, when we return to the office how will we socially distance? At Visionable, safety is the first priority.

“Everyone sits in the opposite corner of their desks which is 2 meters away. There are hand sanitisers in every room in the building and any buttons you have to press, there’s a hand sanitiser there”. Says Adam.

With the added safety precautions, life in the office might seem more complicated. But Emilio, our Sales Development Manager, doesn’t feel it’s been that difficult. “It’s actually been really positive. We’re socially distanced and there’s loads of hand sanitisers available. We have a one-way system with markers on the floor so we can’t bump into each other.”

“Just do what you feel comfortable with. You’re in control and can make sure you take steps to be safe and smart”. Says Letitia.

Now more than ever we are able to work more flexibly and choose when to go into the office.  “I like being able to choose when to go into the office. I go in 2 to 3 days a week which gives me more time to myself” says Isabel.

And for Emilio, going in part-time is a good balance between working from home and going to the office. “I go into the office 3 days a week, usually Monday to Wednesday and the other two days at home. It’s nice to be in the office sometimes but if you don’t feel ready to go back, that’s ok too”.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, life looks and feels very different. For many, making one giant leap into public life and onto public transport again isn’t at the top of everyone’s To-Do list, especially with the prospect of facing the fast-paced hustle and bustle of rush hour crowds and being packed in together like canned sardines on the London Tube 5 days a week. But with new ways of working and adapting to change, we can push through uncertain times and come out with a better understanding of our needs and balance our work and personal lives with a fresh approach.

Author: Cara Rodrigues – Content Editor

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