For years prior to the progression of COVID-19, the concept of remote work as an option for employers and employees burgeoned. The attractiveness of cost-savings, flexibility, and reduction of commuting to the office combined into a package that lured employees and gave employers the appearance of being pioneering.
In the past year, nearly all of us have experienced the benefits working from home offers. Undoubtedly, there are many. However, many have also found an appreciation and respect for working in the office. Some might even say they have begun feeling a sense of nostalgia for things like water cooler conversations, k-cups in the break room, and their morning routines.
Here are a handful of reasons why, despite the rise in popularity and accessibility of working from home, there will always be a place for working from the office.
The one thing that cannot be replaced, no matter how great your work-from-home experience has been, is the energy of working in an office. Especially important for certain fields likes sales, the interactive connectivity of people coming together and working in an office is something that cannot fully be replicated working from home.
Seeing people face to face, connecting with them energetically, and engaging in the office “feel” in a company with strong culture gives people a feeling of being a part of something. At Rezult Group, our A-type personalities connect well in an in-office situation and help us communicate and drive toward common goals.
It’s not just the A-type sales and recruiters that miss the office, even introverted employees are missing the sense of being around other people – even if they aren’t the chattiest bunch in the office. This feeling of “being a part of something” goes beyond those who are social – it’s something everyone enjoys feeling, and it can be limited when working from home.
Of all the things that will drive people back to the office, the greatest factor is undoubtedly their connection with their colleagues.
Separation of Work and Home Life Responsibilities
Balance between work and home life can take a hit while working from home, as the temptation to continue working beyond “work hours” provides low barriers to entry toward overworking. But it is not just home-life that can suffer working from home. With children, pets, spouses, and other elements of your home life blending into work, the quality of work output can suffer as well.
Commonly those who are working from home get burned out, not renewed, by feeling like there is never a time to truly dedicate solely to one aspect of their life over the other. For many who struggle creating boundaries within the home to separate home from work and vice versa, working from the office is something that is missed and even longed for.
Working in the office can create a more cleanly defined quality of work and home life for some.
Somewhat related to human connection, working from the office allows a greater opportunity for what you could term “passive improvement”.
What do we mean by that?
Working in an office gives innumerable opportunities to witness someone doing their job well – a job that perhaps you do as well. Hearing them make a great point on a call, overcome an objection, give out a great piece of advice, or just generally communicate effectively with another teammate might inspire you to do something a little differently. There is a constant basis for learning – other people.
The constant information and feedback in the office is something that continually impacts anyone within earshot of someone doing their job well (or even not so well). Additionally, for leadership, passive monitoring of employees is easier because you are far more likely to hear someone either passively do something great, on which you can support them and cross-train your team, or even correct an error.
Being surrounded by the amount of information being shared in an office gives an opportunity for constant improvement.
Crazy that some are actually missing their commute to work, right? It’s true, however, and something we hear often from clients and candidates, alike.
While an obvious inconvenience in many ways, commutes to work also offer a limited time for many to have what they seemingly can never seem to find – alone time. The daily drive into work can be incredibly beneficial time, either to empty your mind of clutter, engage in listening to music or podcasts you love, or to knockout an audiobook you’ve been meaning to tackle!
Working from home obviously eliminates this opportunity to cut out a little “me time”.
Change of Scenery
There’s something about getting up in the morning, dressing professionally, and going to work. Smelling the morning air on the way to your car or stopping by your favorite sandwich shop for lunch. There’s something special, sometimes, about just being outside of the home.
Working from home eliminates an opportunity for many to create space for themselves, to just simply get out of the house and see something different. Over months, many have grown to miss the office because it gave them a chance to look at something different.
We are all a little nomadic by nature, and the cooped-up feeling of never leaving home has proven to be a real challenge for many during the pandemic.
These are just five reasons, among many, which show there will forever be a special place for working from the office for a lot of employees. The big question is, as the world starts the return to normal, will we see an influx of employees returning to work or will employers reorganize to allow a hybrid of the two?