Sat, Jun

Back to basics

I only work from home two days a week but it has become increasingly clear that this is too much for Mrs Mole. Her principal complaints are that there are too many dishes to be washed, too much milk being consumed and too much garbage being produced. I don’t know why she worries about the rubbish because, under our long-running power-sharing agreement, bin maintenance is the one area where I have complete authority. Even so, in the interests of domestic harmony, my transition to an ‘office-first’ approach to work will have to be accelerated.

That might also be good for Mole Graphics. We were better prepared for this lockdown than the last but second time around, I’ve found it harder to maintain a disciplined approach to business. Too often, I have got myself going by chain-drinking coffee (hence the milk consumption). When there is hardly any discernible difference between Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, work seems to fragment. From our weekly e-meets on Google Hangout, some staff have clearly felt the same. Indeed, in our initial conversations about the future, not one employee has said they would like to keep WFH all the time.

I can see why. Even though the ancestral seat of the Mole dynasty is reasonably spacious - and Bertie, our labrador, is always up for a walk - I have occasionally felt claustrophobic. God knows how some of the younger staff - especially the two who share flats - have coped. About a month ago, we suffered from an epidemic of Zoom fatigue and it will be nice to have actual meetings again (even if, as I suspect, we’ll still be Zooming much more than we did before the pandemic).

We have a reasonably harmonious team at Mole Graphics - even our finance director has a sense of humour - and it has been interesting to watch staff trickle back into the office and remember that they actually like each other.

I feel obliged to maintain an attitude of realistic optimism. As the world gets vaccinated, things will get significantly better. And I’ll be able to stop chain-drinking coffee.

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