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March 30, 2023

The Great (and Not-So-Great) Things About Being Back at the Office

Over the past few weeks, people have started heading back to their respective offices as quarantine restrictions loosened in Hong Kong and other countries around the world. Life is finally going back to normal, or some semblance of normal at least.


Obviously, you hadn’t realized social distancing would last more than a week or two so your desk succulent is looking a little sadder and the water bottle you forgot to empty out is smelling pretty funky, but otherwise, everything is exactly how you left it.


While you were working from home, you probably couldn’t help but reminisce about what it would be like to be back at your work desk, so we thought we’d share some of the things we missed the most about being back at the office, and some that we could happily do without.


The Bad:

Waking up to the sweet sound of an alarm

UGHHH, WHAT IS THAT SOUND?! I feel like the walking dead. Except less walking. And more dead.


The long commute

If you say you enjoy making the most of your commute to work, you’re lying. By the way, is there an audio podcast you’d recommend?


What is it with the air-con in this place?

A war is forever being waged between two camps all across the globe: those mysterious beings who want the air-conditioning turned up as high as possible, and those who, regardless of how many blankets they hide under, shiver their way through the day. After a while, you’ve learnt that layering is key.


Getting dragged into impromptu meetings

“Sure, I can stop working on my urgent presentation so we can brainstorm the tagline for that ad you’re running two years from now!”

“The boss wants to have a meeting to talk about why we’re not being productive? Let’s do it!”


Also, no offense, but anyone who schedules a team meeting for5:45pm on a Friday is a monster.


Having to line up for the microwave

It might seem minor, but having to wait 20 minutes to use the single communal microwave in the office can get tiring after a while. It almost makes you miss the days when you could whip together a fresh sandwich at home, in your pyjamas, whilst cuddling your cat.


Speaking of microwaves, isn’t it great when the office smells like a wet market after your colleague decide to microwave any type of fish?


There is always that one fish lover who insists on reheating tuna in the communal microwave, stinking the whole office out, before proceeding to eat the whole thing at their desk.


The Good:

Your comfy work chair

You dreamed about your comfy work chair when you were working remotely, your dining chair at home is nowhere near as good. Now you’re back at the office, it feels so good to be reunited again. It’s exactly as you remember it – soft, supple, and most importantly, it spins!


Being back together with your work BFF

We’re pretty sure office BFFs are the sole reason people go to work, besides the payslip of course. You regularly think about how you’d make it through a workday without them, and let’s be honest, gossiping over Zoom just doesn’t have quite the same effect as synchronising your tea and toilet breaks to spill the beans on cute Mark from accounting.


Now you’re back together, there’s a LOT of gossip to catch up on, and it’s like you’ve never been apart. It’s comforting to know they’ll be there to support you when things go wrong, and make all the late nights at the office kind of fun!


Not having to wait 2 hours for your colleague to respond to a simple question

I can see you’re online Sandra. Please respond :( Oh wait, you're just one room over!


IRL Team Happy Hours

Sure, you've seen their faces on Zoom meetings. Maybe you've even had a few virtual happy hours, but it’s nowhere near as good as the real thing!


You might still have to follow the social distancing guidelines as to the number of people sharing a table, but it feels great to be socializing with your office buddies again.


After all, friends might be the family you choose, but colleagues are the family you’re contractually obligated to spend eight hours a day with. So, treat this time like the celebration that it really is, break out the welcome back signs and commiserate all the hilarious Zoom mishaps with your team in real life.


No "office", no problem!

If you're looking to dip your toes into being back at the office, grab a hot desk in Hong Kong to work from for the day with the BOOQED app. You can experience all these shenanigans, without the commitment!

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