In the last few weeks the world seems to have opened up again. Where once everyone was happy to have an online meeting suddenly more and more people want to see you face to face. It is great but it is also a pain.
Nobody is more happy than me to get to see people in the flesh again. Meeting people has been the mainstay of my working life and I am delighted to get the opportunity to do so again. People are drifting back to the office, most are relieved to get to be in amongst their colleagues and rekindle that sense of team camaraderie which is so hard to create and maintain online. The coffee shops are busy as well.
Why then am I complaining (after a fashion)? Because it has turned the world of work upside down again.
When COVID struck and lockdown imposed, the decision was simple. If you could work from home you did. Now it is much more complicated. Do I continue to work from home because I can, do I go back into the office or do I end up in some form of hybrid? Work is not returning to how it was pre-pandemic but to a new paradigm. Again this is great and once it settles down I think we will all be used to the new normal and, to be honest, I am not complaining about that either. It is something that I have been banging on about for years.
What is a pain is that my productivity is shot. Despite moaning about online meetings and their intensity they can be very productive, in terms of getting transactions done. They are easy to run back to back and it is much harder to waste time on trivia and socialising. Now that the world is opening up again I am losing all that time in travelling, time I could have been doing something else. I have to get in the car or on public transport with all the delays and hassle that involves. I also have to spend cash!
I think I have got used to overworking, trying to pack too much into the day. I imagine there are many others out there who feel the same. Going out and visiting people may be disruptive and a pain but it could be the very thing I need.