Deckchair Philosopher back at the virtual office

Virtual Office

The Deckchair Philosopher is back at the office…one day a week. After a prolonged iso in full-time woho (working at home)….’normal’ has become very personal experience.

You can’t find toilet paper, the whole family is stuck in the house and just got into a huge fight over the next Netflix binge-watching choice. What are you going to do? How about we make a Quarantini and chillax. The high alcohol content kills the germs. The locally sourced honey and lemon boost your immunity (but not immunity to social distancing prosecution). An added bonus? – make a jug full, what you don’t drink you can use as hand sanitiser.

Yes, it’s woho cocktail hour!

The Quarantini

Recipe:

  • Vodka (or gin) from your isolation survival box
  • Lemon – steal one from a neighbour’s tree or fruit bowl, it will taste all the sweeter
  • Honey (optional)
  • Vitamin C Sachet
  • Martini glass
  1. Rim your glass with Vitamin C. Place the powered or granular vitamin C on plate, wet the edge of the martini glass by running a lemon wedge around the edge and then press into vitamin C. You can also run honey around the edge of the glass for the ‘Plan Bee’ version, or add it direct to your Quarantini.
  2. Shake the spirit world. Place ice plus vodka, or gin (or both) into the cocktail shaker and shake. The more vigorous the shake, the better the physical workout (as good as the pec-deck at the gym)
  3. Strain the spirits into your prepared glass, and add a curl of lemon zest
  4. Zoom or facetime a friend and share the sublime experience as you sip-away your worries and cares
  5. Emboldened re-enter the fight over Netflix

Some of my readers have pointed out that working from home has already been shortened to WFH, making ‘woho’ redundant.  But woho is working at home or from home…….subtle, but different. And if it was just working at home it would be WAH.  Some may probably never work at a real office again, their office is now their home and vice versa, so I think woho is a softer, kinder abbreviation.

Calling colleagues by telephone is so last century, writes demographer Bernard Salt, you need a webcam, bookish backdrop and dedicated livestream space for your HOBO – ‘home office broadcast outlet’ (or maybe a ‘BOZO’ with the Zoom option?)…… After these suggestions, woho appears relatively safe. Now you are chillaxing with your Quarantini in your virtual broadcasting space, let’s consider another drawback of extended woho.

Armchair philosopher ‘HG’, from Perth western suburbs, observes that in the traditional workplace poor managers can get away with colleagues interacting and motivating each other. But now these managers who would rather not interact with their employees can do so with impunity and in the process make people even more isolated than they are physically. “If we want to live in the new world of remote working”, says HG, “we will need managers who are natural interactors and motivators or at least train them to be so”. It’s a lot harder to pick up on demotivated or isolated or disgruntled employees if they are out of sight and out of mind, or seeing them only in Teams or Zoom meetings. HG reflects, “Most of the managers in my career would probably be really crap at long-distance motivation.”

New skillsets for managers and more woho for the workers. What is clear is that the new normal can never be the same as the old normal. Many habits from lockdown like Zoom and online self-service will continue into the new normal. Whilst planting a veggie patch and greeting neighbours as you walk down the street (instead of staring at your smartphone) harks back to older, more 1970’s concepts of what it means to live and thrive in suburbia.

Meantime our politicians appear to at last be actually listening to scientists and experts and less to their partisan echo chamber ideologies. Can this continue as we move from the health crisis to dealing with the economic crisis? I think it has to. The alternative would be to waste one of the key touchstones we have found that has given us confidence during crisis and isolation so far. Listening to experts is the new black.

So what is next?….we can talk about that on the ‘other side of the bridge’. Don’t forget to bring your deckchair and new-normal cocktail glass with you.