I am not at work.

The semester starts on Monday, and my office does not have windows or dogs. My living room does not have enough windows, but there is natural light, there are sweatpants, and I finally have a couch! to wear them on. (The arrival of the couch at the end of my couch-appreciating window is bitter irony.)

I am not at work, but I am doing work because in academia and music you’re always doing work. (Yes, I have read that burn out article. No, I don’t want to talk about it.) Two of my syllabi are finished, and I’m just one course schedule shy of completing the third. I’ll probably practice. I have some PR stuff that has been sitting in wait since December and theoretically, that will get done, too. Just in comfy pants and with Netflix in the background. I know this sounds less than productive, but no one knocks on my door with hour-long chats about whatever, so things actually get finished.

I am not at work. Should I be at work? I only have a year of office-ish experience, and your liberal sharing of AskAManager has made me rethink how well I handled it. In some ways, academia is different. People in my department seem to be pretty consistently out of office by 3 p.m., so this ... presence on non-mandated days is a little baffling. But then they’re weird about being there every morning, even if they’re just hanging out in the lounge and being generally useless.

I thought the standard was that everyone would be ghost-town until Monday when classes actually start, but I went by yesterday to drop some stuff off and 30-40% of the FTers were there.

The one that is always scheming to do big things messaged me this morning while I was still in bed and asked when I’d be free to work on another project. I admire his get-up-and-go, and generally try to be more like him. But we have early meetings tomorrow and Friday, and I wanted my last morning of puppy snuggles in bed.

Am I supposed to be at work?

How do you juggle being seen working and conditions which are ideal for y’know. Actually working.