Essentially, office culture as we know it may be over for the foreseeable future. For years, we complained about our old office life, we have mocked it; dreaded it, but now we might just end up missing it. Here’s how…
Have you tried to whisper “Did you hear? Hugh has been quarantining with Nicola” to a colleague, while maintaining a safe distance, or through a screen, and not been heard by others? Starved of face-to-face counsel, gossipy teammates will be desperate to confide in one another. But how?
Rumour-mongers, snitches, tattletales: you may need to move onto WhatsApp. Where’s the fun in that?
Until we’re allowed to share snacks in offices again, there will be few ways to perk up a colleague’s day. Surprising desk mates with sugary snacks was one of the few ways to guarantee you could elevate their day. What are we to do now such acts are deemed unhygienic and inappropriate?
The corridor dance
You were in the corridor and approaching an unknown colleague. You’d lock eyes. One of you went one way, but – no! – it’s the same way. “Sorry!” you both said, diving to the opposite side. But – agh! – you’ve both gone there, too. You repeated this dance until one of you gave up and just waited. There just won’t be as much fun in a one-way system, will there?
“Good evening. Nice of you to join us,” you used to say as your colleague arrived eight minutes late. You too were late, by six minutes, but they didn’t know that. With staggered shifts, will this joke be possible?
There are – or were – several people in any office who had such thunderous sneezes that it would create office-wide conversation every time they detonated. Before corona, those sneezes may have been grossly anti-social. Post corona, those sneezes are going to terrify anxious people anywhere within a one-mile radius. I am afraid.