A New Normal?

People have been talking about getting back to normal (or at least a new normal) post-pandemic for months now.

For the past few months I wasn’t quite sure what that would look like for me. While my particular office functioned well remotely, the university I worked at understandably wants folks back in the office for the students that are on campus.

The months leading up to this past week (the first week of classes) felt like I was in limbo. Somehow I was faced with planning a socially distant office space having never done so all while dealing with the reality that my time working from home was about to come to an abrupt end. Queue anxiety.

Thankfully for now, I’ve been able to continue teleworking 2-3 days a week, but it’s far from the telework environment I’ve gotten used to.

My team is now split pretty much 90% remote and 10% on site. For the staff working on campus, we’re faced with a new challenge of managing our usual workload plus, often times, singlehandedly managing the workload of customers who walk in with questions, most of which isn’t even related to our job but rather to the building we’re in. Pre-pandemic, that walk-in support would have been split among 3-5 people instead of 1-2.

Did I mention we’re also navigating this through our busiest time of the year where our work quadruples anyway?

While I’m thankful to be able to not be fully back in the office, it’s safe to say that I feel as though my routine is now thoroughly upended. Because my teleworking schedule changes every other week, I now understand my partner’s tendency to never know what day of the week it is. I also can’t seem to get into a normal rhythm of work. All in all, I just feel disheveled.

So what’s next?

I find myself wanting to make a weekly plan, but the day to day unpredictability of tech support has proved that to be challenging.

I’ve also found myself revisiting the maker/manager schedule. My current telework schedule is structured such that the weeks I am in the office 3 days a week also tend to be my meeting heavy weeks, so I’m toying with the idea of a accepting that those weeks will simply be distraction heavy and using my three telework days the following week to really focus on projects.

Anyway, this is a bit of a rambling post, but I wanted to throw my two cents out there in case anyone else is struggling or has struggled with something similar.

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