Be patient on the way back
It is almost unimaginable that it was more than 14 months ago that the shutdown changed our working lives and a daily life we can hardly remember anymore. Therefore, we have to have patience in sensibly adapting ourselves to the work life that awaits us on the other side.
Over a year, many of us have worked from bedrooms, kitchen tables and basements – and ironing boards have been used as raising-lowering tables rather than for ironing shirts. Colleagues have become something you primarily see on a screen.
Now it seems that we will gradually return to a daily life that will look more like normal – and yet not quite the one we once knew. We have all learned a lot of new things from working differently. The companies. You as a person and employee.
Us as a trade union.
On several occasions during and between the shutdowns, we have asked you how you felt about working from home. Therefore, we also know that many of you are looking forward to seeing each other again. The collegial presence has been what you have missed the most. Talking over the coffee machine is not the same as talking through a Teams window or a Zoom session.
On the other hand, you have also appreciated the flexibility and some of the other benefits there have turned out to be. And for those of you who have had the opportunity to organise work for yourself, we have seen a clear improvement in job satisfaction.
Therefore, we must also be sure to use the experiences wisely and learn from the huge working life experiment we have been through over the past year.
The coming time requires patience. From the managers who have to accept that we need time to socialise when we return to the workplace. There will be a lot to be gained.
As colleagues, we also have to have patience with each other when we talk, laugh and make noise in a way we have not been used to for a long time. The office is different from the kitchen table – and it can also cause concerns. Some of us thrive on tranquillity, contemplation and working from a distance. Others are very much looking forward to being able to show up physically again.
Therefore, we have to have patience in sensibly adapting ourselves to the work life that awaits us on the other side. There will be more of a hybrid alternation between physical and digital attendance, but above all we also have to quietly use the experience to arrange things better for individuals and our work communities.
Therefore, have patience in making too firm of agreements about, e.g. working from home. The advice from the experts is to get back in the office first, get used to it again and then look at how our future flexible working lives will be arranged.
It takes patience to do it right. In exchange, we have a unique opportunity to create a better, more flexible and more sustainable working life.