One last question for now about the impact of #WFH enforcement in this most prestigious cycle of lockdown. After exploring the question of our personal stench, pondering about the imposition of pants, musing over the impolitic situations caused by burps, and exposing the awkward truths about caring, I have to ask something that could indeed be the source of a massive behavioral shift with the workforce.
This #WFH scenario could see not a giant step forward in social norms, but what some would see as a massive step back.
What about Drinking at lunch?
During this “unprecedented time,” while locked in homes and – if we’re fortunate enough – working while incarcerated in our domiciles, something that #WFH has enabled is drinking at times we “normally” wouldn’t.
Many is the time an average worker would go to lunch and muse about the “good ol’ days” when a light libation or five might be acceptable while consuming their midday repast. Sitting down at a local pizza parlor, with beer on the menu, plenty would say, “If I wasn’t going back to work, I’d have a beer.”
Now, the challenges with that could be myriad.
A person wouldn’t necessarily want the reputation of a drinker in the office. Drinkers are often stigmatized as sloppy and disorganized, unmotivated and unproductive. It does not matter if that’s true or not. It only matters what the perception is.
But with #WFH, there could be someone who sees release during a stressful day of lengthy report building. After all, if there is no driving involved in the day and it doesn’t impact the end result of the work meeting deadline, what stigma could there be if someone had a Bud Light with their microwave lunch?
I still observe the social norms, and won’t drink before the day is done. But I do know people who have relaxed their stance on such things.
I don’t judge them. If there’s no chance of being on the road, and they’re meeting their obligations, I don’t see a harm so long as they’re not having a six-margarita lunch. (In that case they should just call a sick day and be done with it.)
But I do wonder, when #WFH expires sometime within the next decade, or an extinction-level asteroid is sent to end this charade, how much difficulty some will have with switching back to the world of deodorant, business clothing, holding in farts, pretending to care, and now switching back to drinks only at week-ending Happy Hours.
It’s going to make for a lot of grumpy people, I bet.
Good thing I’m content to keep distracting them with insightful analysis of Han Solo’s character arc as understood through the lens of Solo: A Star Wars Story.