While many have enjoyed the work at home experience this year, a number of experts believe the arrangement may not be optimal as our world moves forward.
A recent INC. Magazine article, The 7 Worst Aspects of Working at Home, cited the following as reasons to enjoy a lighter commute and get back to the office as soon as possible. Copiers Northwest’s President, Gregg Petrie, added a few more reasons to make this our Top 10 list:
1. Company Culture: Can you build a company culture when you work from home? A positive culture facilitates social interaction, teamwork and open communication. Employees are much more likely to come together as a team at companies with a strong culture. This may be hard to accomplish when not face-to-face and only communicating electronically.
2. Accountability: Studies have shown that productivity is higher in environments where employees report to a supervisor or manager on the premises.
3. Training: If your work is “hands on” it may be hard to train employees over video conferencing. In person training may be vital to your organization and onboarding new employees.
4. Technology: If your internet fails or something breaks, you are your own tech support. Tech support help is just minutes away when you are in the office. In the office you also have access to your high speed color printers and copiers with advanced finishing features.
5. Procrastination: At home, you may have frequent interruptions, which affect your productivity. “I’ll be more productive if my home workspace is clean so I’ll just take a few minutes to vacuum and polish the furniture. You know, I should probably give the dog a bath, wash my sheets, rake the leaves outside, pay bills, and, and…”
6. Health: Kitchens stocked up with food encourages eating more often and throughout the day. Constant sitting watching TV, computer screens, and smartphones cause many to become very sedentary. Many are consuming more alcohol during the pandemic.
7. 24 Hour Work Day: When working from home you may feel compelled to overcompensate for not being in the office and expand the time your work brain is turned on. When you put on work clothes and go into the office, it is like a uniform, you “suit up and go to battle”… when you come home, you change and relaxation time begins.
8. No Creative Collaboration: In person collaboration, even socially distanced, is a great part of the creative process, missed by many who thrive on this type of interaction with fellow workers. It’s just not the same on a screen!
9. FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out is another reason to overwork. You’re convinced others are doing more. Plus, when you are home your co-workers or supervisors may not recognize all the work you are doing. You may also be missing out on important communication compared to people who are in the actual office.
10. Loneliness: For many, work is a big part of their social life, especially with other activities limited during the COVID-19 pandemic. This can not only be bad for morale, but cause depression. As stated in the New York Times Bestseller,
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, we are social beings and naturally gravitate toward socializing in groups of 20-150 people. Most of us do not desire to be alone for a majority of the time.