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    • Jessica3 years ago

      The company I work for has always had a remote work option, and many of us worked 3 days in office, 2 days at home (or a variation of it). Some were already WFH pretty much full time, but as the author points out, working remotely with kids home all day and lingering stress with everything related to the pandemic is different from working remotely with all those stressors missing from the equation.

      I'm lucky that my job allows me to spend time outside, even though I am sometimes literally working in the middle of a dump. But even being able to be outside, often with one of my coworkers, doesn't replace the office camaraderie. A lot of the weaker social ties, which are often formed during in-person encounters, are much more difficult to encounter these days.

      Commutes can have upsides. Last year, I was somewhat embarrassed to realize that I was among the half of American office workers who missed mine; the time I used to spend walking and riding the train every morning provided a psychological in-between, when all I needed to do was let my brain transition into work mode while I listened to a podcast.

      I miss commuting, in a way. I now live in a space where driving is a necessity, but right before the pandemic, I was located in an area where public transportation was the norm (and encouraged). I miss people-watching on the train, and the peaceful in-between of walking from the train station to the office.