Thursday, 29th October 2020

Communal toilet etiquette and four other difficulties for back-to-work Britons

AS employees return to their workplaces, many are struggling to get back into the groove. So what unpleasant lifestyle changes should you brace yourself for?

Limiting your trips to the fridge 

Rather than eating 17 meals during the average eight-hour working day, you’ll be lucky to manage half a dozen without facing disciplinary action. Also it’s the office fridge, so if you want to graze constantly you’ll have to steal Lucy’s disgusting-looking homemade pasta salad, or the taramasalata you suspect has been there since we voted for Brexit.

Communal toilet etiquette

After months of ‘letting it rip’, possibly with your bathroom door open, many employees are finding the return to communal loos especially tricky. Not only do you have to keep a real handle on the frequency and duration of your visits, you have to be furtive and quiet instead of revelling in the magical sound of your sphincter’s discordant bum jazz.

Not being able to mute yourself and others 

We have to come to terms with the death of the Zoom meeting. No longer can you turn the sound off for a bit as a break from Lynne’s rubbish, or mute yourself while you therapeutically scream abuse at your boss and his latest stupid idea. No, meetings are happening face-to-face again. Probably in a conference room that’s steadily filling up with BO and farts.  

Deadly coffee breath

When it comes to unpleasant office odours, the salad days are over, my friend. Prepare to have your nostrils stung by your boss’s caffeine halitosis, while you wonder how on earth the bland aroma of a Caffe Nero latte can suddenly turn rancid and travel more than a metre across the office.

Embarrassing incidents you forgot about 

Six months away from the office will have made you forget about embarrassing incidents from pre-Covid times. But hell would have to freeze over before your colleagues let you forget that you made an idiot of yourself at the Christmas do. You know, when you misread the situation and tried to snog Bethan, and vommed on Lane 3 of the bowling alley.