Why Don’t You Miss Your Office?

After a year or so of Covid-y goodness, I doubt there are a lot of people who remember their offices fondly. Oh sure, you miss your coworkers, you miss the camaraderie, you miss the stability of having physical separations between your work and your personal life, and so on.

But missing the actual office? The actual four walls and drop ceilings and carpet? The times you could tell someone was microwaving Thai leftovers? The way your eyes stung if you went to the bathroom too early in the morning?

a dreary, horrible, yet common office

What about the one sad, abused Brita pitcher in the fridge? The one that someone brought in years ago that everyone uses but it seems like you’re the only one who refills? Or that Keurig machine that still tastes like hazelnut because it wasn’t cleaned out correctly?

What about that conference room? You know, the one where you can hear every conversation down the hall? Or the open floor plan that makes sure you have to wear headphones to focus? Or that high pitched whine you can hear no matter what you do?

What about your chair and desk? I mean, now that you finally got the good chair and managed to get a second monitor from IT. You probably miss that, don’t you? I mean, it still isn’t as comfy as the setup you have at home, but it’s pretty good, right?

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If your office was built to the WELL standard, I can guarantee you’d miss the hell out of it.

With the WELL standard, the air in the office would be the perfect temperature, with a gradient across the room so you could move to where you were the most comfortable. Any smells from the kitchen or bathroom would be imperceptible. Heck, you wouldn’t even notice if either room was recently cleaned!

You wouldn’t hear any noise from outside, and any inside noise would be so quiet that you’d have to strain to hear it. The open workspaces would be balanced out by closed ones for when you needed to take a call.

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There would be water fountains providing filtered water and healthy snacks in the pantry, regardless of your dietary restrictions. There would be plenty of space in the fridge for anything you brought from home. There would be a wide array of food options, from snacks to meals to catered meetings, all with labels for nutritional information and allergy notifications.

Your desk would be configurable for sitting or standing, and even options for a treadmill or pedals. It would be well lit and free of any glare from the overheads or the outside.

There’d even be a gym, with showers and lockers. There’d be a place to park your bike, right next to the garden or park with a jungle gym, and benches to eat outside.

An office that meets the WELL standard would be something you missed, even if going back means no more morning meetings in your pajamas. And that would be something to look forward to, when all this Covid-y goodness finally runs its course.

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if i’m not optimizing some operations puzzle or the other, i’m probably reading (or writing, apparently)

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