Return to Work Covid Playbook

The View from My Cup (today the view from my tiny cup collection)… After working from home for ten or so weeks, in June I returned to the office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. I spent a few hysterical moments discussing ‘return to work survival tips’ with one of my best pals, Angia Thomas Hughes, who is also a writer and works in the same building as I do. We arrived at an idea for a booklet we thought many of our co-workers could benefit from if only they would heed our sage advice. Our thoughts are as follows:

(the opening) Multi-Functional Workspace Etiquette 101 – Whether you’re in an enclosed office with a door or cubicles of varying heights and proximity of others, we all need to be aware of how to go about conducting business in the most professional, confidential, and least intrusive ways possible. Whether you are new to a multi-functional workspace, need a refresher, or know someone who could use some tips – this is the guide to survival and peace in the multi-functional workspace.

(Chapter headings) 1. How to Shut-Up Your Co-Worker Without Cutting Off Their Oxygen Flow; 2. What is a Personal Bubble, Anyway? 3) Handwashing – Not Optional; 4) Flush or Be Flushed; 5) Bathrooms – Keep ‘Em Clean;  6) You Do Your Work, and I’ll Do Mine.

We didn’t get too far with this Covid-19 guidebook, not even enough for a leaflet, really. But the laughter that ensued was cathartic.

Needless to say, restroom cleanliness is both a necessity and a challenge. Especially so when you may work on a floor with a person(s) who doesn’t see the importance of flushing or washing their hands. EWWW! Thus the bathroom-related chapters.

The typical workplace challenges exist as before – someone who doesn’t do your job but insists on telling how they would do what you do. Or the folks that chat more than they work.

Perhaps the worst is the co-worker that clearly doesn’t understand social distancing. Or maybe they don’t know how long 6 feet really is. Here are some helps for that- these things are 6 feet: the average refrigerator height, length of a full-sized mattress, two yardsticks end to end,  the average height of a white rhino, the length of a yoga mat, six bowling pins stacked on top of each other, two shopping carts end to end.

Things that aren’t 6 feet apart – my desk chair to my cube doorway, sinks side by side in the restroom, the entirety of the elevator interior, a hug.

The last is bittersweet. But back off – please.