| 16.5°C Dublin

Close

Premium


From gossip to harmless sneezing: What we'll miss of office life post Covid-19

Guy Kelly


Close

Sneezes in the office post coronavirus are going to terrify anxious people

Sneezes in the office post coronavirus are going to terrify anxious people

Sneezes in the office post coronavirus are going to terrify anxious people

In 1970, when Joni Mitchell noted down the lyrics for 'Big Yellow Taxi', she can't have imagined that 50 years on, those words could be reapplied to the prospect of being unable to share a birthday cake, paper thimble of champagne and an awkward side of, "So, what are you up to over the weekend?" at the end of a bank of computer monitors. But here I am, because don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?

For weeks, we've been hearing about a 'new normal' in our workplaces after lockdown. If and when restrictions are lifted, we were told, it would be a case of learning to live with the coronavirus, rather than revelling in life without it.

As offices across Europe prepare to reopen, shift start and end times could be staggered to reduce overlap; desks might be placed more than two metres apart and divided by screens; 'one-way' lanes could be imposed; working from home will be encouraged; and contact, in general, will be kept to a minimum.