Home > The Monday Musings Column > on being back in the office

on being back in the office


A strange thing happened the other week; I found myself in an office building. It was one that I had been in before, albeit that my last visit to that site was twenty five years or more ago when in was rented by someone else. It was looking out of the conference room window and recalling that previous visit that I realised that it is almost three years since I was last in an office block.
Time flies and at my age it seems to fly more quickly like the way that sand seems to flow slowly through an egg timer at first, but then seems to get faster as its time runs out. Since my last office based project in Bangkok in the late Spring of 2016 I have been working around operational sites. Meetings have been snatched in coffee shops and motorway service areas, anywhere mutually convenient as paths can be made to cross and so I have not darkened the doorsteps of those places that I once called home.

In some ways it was as though I had never left, walking from car to reception to self-messing area to conference room, but in other ways it seemed odd. Over my career I had a preference for being amid the action and whilst I did have some fun in my ivory tower days all of my best memories are of the times when the smell and sound of battle were all around. At one of the many assessments that I had I was described as a romantic and I have no real issue with that. Passion and romance go hand in hand and my passion is around getting things done, not by firefighting, but by heading off all of those things that life will through at you to try and thwart you.

It is true that you can do that in the office, but, for me, there is a greater pleasure in making things happen as part of a team in the front line. Leaders are only members of a team after all. Yes they lead the team, but if they do that well it is usually because the other team members see them as part of the whole. To be able to walk away at the end of the day knowing that we did a good job is a great feeling and if you also know that you played your own part to the full is especially satisfying.

Listening to snatches of conversation around the office it was clear that the machinations of office politics still abound. I have no need to compete anymore, I have had my go on the greasy pole of promotion and can leave all of that to the youngsters. Good luck to them. I don’t miss the office and am glad that my office bound days are behind me. I have no plans to retire because I enjoy what I do. I am a lucky man.

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