Debunking the myth of working from home
If Covid-19 taught us something is that most companies were able to switch to online working with relative speed. When faced with little choice and a workforce that felt unsafe many did the unthinkable – they switched to online working. Suddenly, small offices became too big, printing became unnecessary, laptops became necessary and online communication tools were in demand. It took some adjusting yet within weeks many were happy to be waking up and walking to their ‘office’.
The novelty of working in pajamas, turning work on and off, the comfort of being at work, at home was palatable. Many reported that they worked better, more efficiently. They wasted less time and focused more. Others adjusted with difficulty riding it out until they were able to go back into the office. Others simply couldn’t get used to it. The kids, the partner, the dog and the cat. It all became too much. The lack of boundaries worked for a few days. The myth of working from home became a reality.
Covid-19 has drawn out longer than we would have anticipated at the beginning of 2020. What started out as a temporary arrangement soon became a necessity across many offices. In some cases this was exacerbated by the lack of safety that people felt. As safety measures increased across offices, some chose to go back to work, others preferred a hybrid model and others still chose to stay home. It’s anyone’s guess when things will settle down. What we know today is that working from home is not the scary prospect it used to be for employers. On the flip side it’s not such a great prospect for people. As the novelty wore off, members of staff miss the day to day interactions in the office, the collaborations, the coffees, the comradery that offices offer. Boundaries are also being missed. Waking up at home, working at home, sleeping at home makes it feel like your working day never ends. Like you are never getting a break.
There are few things we can be certain – that nothing will quite be the same again. It will be interesting to see what shape our offices take over the next few months. What is certain is that each company will work out a system that works best for them and their people. In all likelihood it will be a mix of working from home and working at the office. This however may not fit all company cultures and that’s ok too. What works best works well.
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