Wednesday, October 27, 2021

First day back in the office feels strange

Back in April 2019 I switched from mainly working in the IBM office to working permanently from home. The switch from office to home working was sudden and felt strange. I was working from home one day (as I occasionally did back then) when I got an email from HR telling me that the IBM offices were closing with immediate effect and everyone was to start working from home until further notice. I didn't have a chance to say good bye to my familiar desk. In fairness there was a process whereby I could get my manager's approval to visit my desk and retrieve anything important, but I didn't feel the need to use this process.

I have been getting along OK working from home for the last 18 months, but when I got another notification that the IBM offices were opening again I was excited to get back to my old familiar working environment. I had to book a desk via an online tool which was configured to only allow 15% occupancy, but I was lucky enough to be able to book my desk.

When I got there it was eerily quiet and I realised that hardly anyone is taking the chance to work in the office. None of my direct team is here and a quick walk about the building I work in told me that I could count on one hand the number of desks which are occupied. A lunchtime walk around the campus revealed that the only building with more than 10 cars parked outside it was the building occupied by our digital sales organisation. This is strange because this team spend their time working electronically with clients in different countries. Obviously they see the benefit of having an in-person link with their colleagues even if they are very proficient in using online collaboration tools to connect with client's.


  1. Strange times Brian! Nice to have the option to go into the office & have a chance to meet folks f2f. Give it time and the 15% will likely start to occupy desks! Stay safe!

    1. Thanks Carmel. I am sure it will be back to normal soon. I hope you are keeping well