For many of us, the only good thing to come out of the pandemic has been the ability to work from home. Rolling out of bed at 8:59 am, wearing pyjamas all day and not having to cram into a peak-hour train where you’re packed together so tightly you’re just as likely to pick up Chlamydia from the person rammed against you as you are COVID.
But now, as we begrudgingly start to return to the office, it seems that we are bringing bad habits that we picked up at home with us. According to Professor Katherine Reynolds, a social psychologist at the Australian National University, people are finding it challenging to readjust to working around colleagues again. “They might have picked up other habits in the house, they might have got very familiar with working around people that know them very well, and you know, equally, they might need to renew and relearn what it’s like being in a communal space with colleagues, not family,” she told The Age.
Having to relearn how to behave around other humans is something that we’ve all had to do to some extent. But, there are some important things to nail when working in the office to avoid raising the ire of any colleagues who might not know you so well.
When it comes to attire, remember to always wear pants. Yes, it was possible to get by on a Zoom call without them, but now that people have the ability to scan you up and down, it’s important that you are covered up to avoid any HR issues.
Another key thing to remember is that you do have to wash up your dirty plates after you use them. It’s pretty poor form to just leave them in the sink and expect the janitor or even your colleagues to clean them for you. If you are failing to wash your own dishes, it is a strong indicator that you have spent too much time living at home with a mother who has spoiled you.
Further, the food you heat up in the office microwave needs to be something that isn’t too odorous. Yes, most of us have now had COVID, but many of us still have our sense of smell. Warming up a fish in the microwave is going to likely disrupt the nostrils of everyone else working in the vicinity.
And lastly, if you do notice this type of poor behaviour around the office, remember that a passive-aggressive note left in the kitchen is a pretty meek way to change people’s behaviours. Instead, opt for aggressive-aggressive. If someone has failed to clean up after themselves, barge into their office and slap them in the face as if they just insulted your wife at the Oscars. The best thing about this approach is that you’ll only have to do it once either because it serves as a strong deterrent to others or because you will be immediately asked to go back to working from home, which is the ideal outcome anyway.