The One at the Office

I was in the office today and it was weird. I don’t like being at home and I don’t really like being in the office right now. And I don’t know what to do about it.

I like being around people, I don’t really mind some noise, I actually prefer it to silence around me. But the rest of my team prefers being at home on their own. And since Covid started, our policy now is that everyone can work from home all the time if they want to. Which is great, I guess, for the people who always dreaded being in the office. It sucks for people like me. When I’m in the office I can choose between being in a room on my own or being in a room with people from other teams.

Option A does not make a lot of sense. Yes, I can come to the office to do a lunch break with coworkers and grab a cup of coffee and have a quick chat with someone, but for the actual working part, I do prefer being alone at home instead of being alone in a somewhat unfinished office space.

Option B makes sense for the time I spend working on something on my own because I have nice people around me and the noise of them working, but I have to leave the room if I have a meeting or they do (which both happens a lot). And I’m kind of in their team room (although this does not officially exist anymore), so I feel like they can be noisy but I can’t. That’s probably not true and they actually went into a meeting room for some mixed (onsite + remote people) meetings they had, but still. It’s weird.

Is there a solution for things like that? I have heard of companies enforcing a team day a week, but we are not going to do that (and I’m not sure if that would be a good idea to force people into the office who don’t want to come). I know that some of my coworkers from other teams with the same setup also struggle, but none of us know what to do.

I ordered a couch for our room today, to at least use this space as a place where people can have a quick little chat outside of the common rooms or behind their desks. Maybe this will help a bit, but it does not solve the bigger issue.