COVID-19 has changed the way we experience the world in a lot of ways. We’re eating out less, spending less time with friends and family, and the kids are learning from home instead of the classroom, but one of the biggest changes has come to employees who now work at a computer from home instead of going into the office.
In some ways, this has been a good thing. It can save companies money, and it eliminates long and frustrating commutes. For these and other reasons, the workplace may never go back to being the same, which means many places may allow for more remote working and less or no work done in the office. However, it’s important to remember that working in the office has plenty of benefits for workers and businesses too! Here are a few reasons why you and your workforce may want to think about heading back to the office when COVID-19 is finally over.
Built-In, Set Schedule
Having a routine is extremely important to our productivity and our mental health. Unfortunately, coming up with a set schedule at home can be a huge challenge, especially if you live with other people. Not only might you find yourself working weird hours as you attempt to care for children during the day, but you’ll also be more likely to sleep in and get a late start, or skip certain tasks one day, only to overwhelm yourself the next. When you work in an office, the schedule is built-in, which can help you keep a daily routine.
Boost to Communication
There’s no denying that sending a quick email or text message is fast, and it does enable the person you’re contacting to get back to you when it’s convenient for them, but it can also be a pain too. You have to wait for a response, and it simply doesn’t compare to face-to-face communication.
Communicating with someone enables you to see their reaction in real time. If you have a quick question and you work in the office, you can simply walk over and ask, and it’s a much better way to build relationships. You’re more likely to have friends in the office and feel more like you belong when you speak to others in person instead of always using technology to communicate.
Ease of Learning Something New
Learning doesn’t stop as soon as you graduate from high school or college, but rather we should continue to learn new skills, facts, and points of view throughout our lifetimes. When it comes to learning skills in the workplace, it’s a lot easier to do when you’re surrounded by others rather than sequestered in your home by yourself.
You will learn new things from your coworkers and supervisors simply by being around them, but learning new programs and job-relevant skills is easier to do when you’re actually meeting with real people instead attempting to learn something new by yourself from your home office.
No More Zoom Meetings
Platforms, like Zoom, have saved a lot of businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak. It has enabled teams to get together virtually when meeting in person isn’t an option, but that doesn’t mean video conferencing software is the perfect replacement for traditional meetings.
Zoom meetings are surprisingly exhausting. If you’re experiencing technical difficulties, video conferencing software is especially irritating, and if you share your home with other people and pets, you may have to find a way to keep them out of the screen. When you head back to the office, you may not be looking forward to all those meetings again, but you will look forward to the fact that they are no longer on Zoom!
Return to Networking
Networking is an important way to move forward in your career. That’s because people in your network can provide you with leads on jobs you may be interested in, referrals for other jobs, mentoring, and training for your dream position. However, it’s nearly impossible to do these things from the comfort of your own home. You have to put yourself out there, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to go to the office every day. You will naturally build your professional network with coworkers and supervisors without really even trying.
Clear Lines Between Work and Home
There’s nothing more convenient than a commute that involves you walking down the stairs to your home office in the morning. The trouble is, when you work from home, the lines between home and work are blurred, and you may find it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
When you go into the office every day, there is a clear separation between work time and home time. This is important when it comes to stopping work for the day, but it’s also important for your mental health. With a very clear physical barrier and end to your day, you’re a little less likely to ruminate on work-related matters at home, and you’re less likely to ruminate on home-related stressors when you’re supposed to be working.
More Creative Ideas
Every job requires at least a little creativity, which can be difficult to come by if you’re stuck in your home office working alone every day. When you’re surrounded by other people, it’s easy to bounce ideas off of each other, which results in more creative ideas.
You will have a greater chance of taking on a wider variety of projects, and you’ll learn more approaches, methods, and techniques that will get those creative juices flowing when you’re surrounded by people and a different atmosphere every day. If you work by yourself at home alone, it’s easy to feel like you’re stuck doing the same things all day every day without any new points of view or new ideas.
There’s nothing wrong with working from home if it works for you, but it’s important to recognize that there are plenty of benefits of returning to work when it’s safe to do so.