HEALTH

Opinion: Coming back to the office after COVID-19 sent me home

May 25, 2021, 12:46 PM | Updated: 1:55 pm
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This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

I still remember that day in March of 2020 when my boss at KSL told me he was sending me home to do my half of Utah’s Morning News from my basement office for “the indefinite future” thanks to COVID-19. 

I thought, “Really? Is this necessary?” It turns out he was a lot smarter than I was about Covid precautions (and lots of other things, too.)

When Governor Herbert closed the schools just a week or two later, I was so grateful, so very grateful to be able to be home to help my sons with their schoolwork every day, something I would not have been able to do as easily and efficiently if I wasn’t broadcasting from home.

I could never have imagined at that time last year that the seasons would go round and round until spring returned before I came back to my cubicle facing Vivint Arena, back to the building that has been my second home for more than 30 years, back to my friends at KSL Newsradio and the job I love. 

Nervous about going back to the office post-COVID-19?

I want to talk to any of you who have yet to go back to work and are nervous about it. Please don’t be.

I came back to the station this week after being an absolute hermit for over a year. I mean – I only drove my car a handful of times. My husband did all the shopping (he’s a much better shopper.) I only left the house to walk my dog. I haven’t put on normal clothes in so long I was nervous they wouldn’t fit me. My dresses had dust – DUST – on them. I started laughing as I was brushing the dust off the shoulders of dresses and jackets and shoes Saturday afternoon. 

Mostly I want to tell you that I thought I didn’t want to come back to the office. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be around my coworkers. I love them. It was that I love being with my family more. I loved it so much that I was afraid to lose it. I was afraid to lose the easy mornings, the way the sun came through the windows at 9:30, the way the boys kissed me goodbye before they left for school, the way my dog Molly would wait for me to walk her and get anxious if I took too long. I didn’t want to lose that, so I was afraid to come back to the work environment. 

I’m so glad I overcame that feeling, because there is something about being together – in person – in the workplace that contributes to the spirit of the work. It’s intangible. It puts you all together on the boat. Maybe you can all be digitally rowing and moving the boat thanks to modern technology, but there is something about rowing next to your team. Being in sync. Laughing together. Seeing each other’s faces. Asking about their families. Knowing when they’re in pain. I have missed it in a more profound way than I realized until this week. I have been lonely in places I hadn’t thought about without it. 

We’re in this together 

I encourage you who are debating whether you should go back to work or not to go. There is spirit there, in the workplace, that will feed you. Lift you. Inspire you. I know it’s a drive. I know there will be frustration, sometimes.

But sometimes there will be flowers, like this beautiful bouquet that my radio partner Tim Hughes greeted me with this morning. “Welcome back,” he said. 

 

Wow.  Just… wow.

Welcome back to all of you who are getting in the car and coming back to the office or wherever you work. We can do this together. 

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Opinion: Coming back to the office after COVID-19 sent me home