Going back to the office

So I’m going back to the office. I’m not required to, my employer has opened the opportunity to return only if we want.

Being at home since March has started to impact my mental health. I just can’t do it anymore and with no end in sight for Covid, I’m just going to learn to live with it. To be honest, I thought I would be the last person to feel the need to go back to the office, but after seven months, I need to go back.

Unlike most of you, I have no kids at home. Just me and my wife (who works). Just too quiet. I miss the commute to and from work (not the traffic, just the drive, listening to radio and podcasts).

After 25 years, I guess being at the office is just part of me.

It starting to make rethink “retirement” and what I want those years to look like.

My office building is very big, very few people, and with a lot of precautions, I’m not too concerned.

Am I only the only one? Maybe I am crazy…need to get that looked at…lol



I retired in August 2019 after 28 years in one organization, and felt I was lucky to do so just before Covid hit. I wasn’t really planning on retiring then, but I have several other health issues that basically forced my hand. Like you, I loved my commute (about an hour and very little traffic), listened to music, planned my day, enjoyed the thinking time. Also have no children, so my colleagues were basically like my family. I miss the drop-in convos and collaborations. I miss my private office, organized, and I could really get things done. Since I wasn’t really ready to retire, I haven’t really found my post-retirement purpose yet, and miss the obvious purpose and direction.
So, yes, although I have a different situation, I do understand how you feel and miss the daily structure and schedule that my job and office provided.


Thanks Jan, yeah I have been thinking about what retirement will mean a lot lately. I have a number of years until that is possible, but I think one really needs a plan of what your purpose will be post retirement.


That’s cool, I hope it is a good experience for you to get back!

Hopefully everyone you are around is respectful of one-another and smart. Like if they have sick kids or a fever, they don’t go into the office!


Thanks Eric. They are being careful. Everytime we enter the building we have a health questionare that we fill out. Plus they are taking temps at the door. They also made it pretty clear its an expectation you follow the rules. There aren’t that many people in the office since it strictly voluntary, so I don’t expect issues.

Their pretty flexible, so if I go in and don’t like what I see, I can go home and work

Right now I’m going to go in twice a week. That should help shakeout some of the crazy.


My partner recently started going back two days a week - they’re requiring that he return unless he qualifies for an exemption. We no longer qualify for an exemption under the criteria they’re using.

I was nervous, but it sounds pretty safe actually. They’re doing similar things at the door that you described. He is working in a space that used to have 50 people, and now will only have 7 or less on the days he’s there. The closest person is working 25 feet away from him. Everyone is required to wear masks and social distance. The ventilation systems are top notch- they say 20% of the air is filtered 5 times an hour with the new air coming from the outside. The bathrooms are probably the riskiest space, but at least there’s good ventilation.

Like you, we do not have children and both of us work. It has been nice for us to have a little more alone time. I’m still teleworking and will continue to do so for as long as possible. My office building is not taking precautions and is not a safe environment.

For my mental health, I’m doing yoga a few times a week. We meet up with friends in the park or on a patio, social distancing style, every weekend we don’t go backpacking. We’ve been going hiking or backpacking most weekends. I use a rowing machine or go for a run 4-5 days a week, and I go for a 20-30 minute walk in our neighborhood most days.

It seems to be working, but I do miss seeing my friends and coworkers more regularly, and the unknown of how long we’ll be doing this (effectiveness of the vaccines, how many people take them, when we can travel again safely, etc) is the hardest part to cope with. I feel very privileged and am very worried about others who are struggling much more than me.


Makes sense and I think you’re making the best decision. :+1::+1: It can be done safely and it sounds like you’ve thoroughly evaluated it all. In some scenarios, the “cure” (isolation) ends up being worse than the heavily mitigated risk of the ailment. I think it’s great that you’re keeping tabs on all angles of your health.

And remember, if you’re worried that you’re crazy, then you’re definitely Not crazy. The crazy ones are always sure that they’re the only sane ones around. :wink: