Back in December 2019, we all were living a life familiar to us. Until like the plot of a dystopian movie, the pandemic ruptured it all. Well, a lot has changed in the last two years. The pandemic is far from over. Masks and sanitizers have become a part of our daily life. The workplaces that we were so familiar with have changed. Hybrid workplaces seem to be the "New Normal." And organizations are coming up with their customized return to office strategy.
Oh, but wait! We forgot to mention that the workforce is almost divided in its willingness to return to office. While some argue that they miss office (we do too!), some believe in the supremacy of working from home. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
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There is no denying; we are divided in our opinion. But let's be honest. There were a few occasions when we missed office. And a few when not so much.
Remember when to have a conversation, be it work-related doubts or office gossip; you would walk up to your colleague? Of course, we have calls with them, but it is different. It is more direct and business-like. Face-to-face conversations have their charm and effectiveness. And we cannot deny that. It is social contact that we miss most about our workplaces.
Work from home means that you will be at home, in the most comfortable environment, with infinite tempting distractions. This means taking Netflix and chill to the next levels. Come on, working on the bed is enticing enough, and getting a moment for a sweet afternoon nap? But often, this results in most of us delaying our work and prolonging the workday beyond the regular work hours. If only you were in the office, getting things done and sticking to schedules would be a cakewalk!
Other than your team members, you also meet colleagues from other departments when visiting the office. And if you have a job role that requires client visits, meeting new people is part of your daily activity. Chances are you miss this enormously now. The rush of meeting new people, exchanging ideas, and being inspired by them, you miss it. Come on, visiting a seminar in person is a different experience compared to attending one on your laptop. And most of us can't wait to get back out there.
Being in the office allows you to have fun and random conversations with colleagues. Remember those rants that you used to have with your team members in between coffee breaks? Or those team lunches? It is the fun quotient that has gone missing, and most of us are longing for it from the bottom of our hearts.
Laptop screens can only do so much when motivating others—the missing team spirit at times. There are times when you need a mentor to guide you through an arduous task or to push you to do your best. Humans are social beings, and having people around to inspire you to do better can work wonders. When nobody's there to guide you, you might want to return to the office.
Also Read: A Practical Guide to Return to Office
Okay, but getting to wear your pajamas the entire day is a blessing in disguise. When working from home, the pressure to dress up and look presentable is off the table, and we cannot complain about that. Want to wear your sweatpants to the meeting? Yes, that is something we all have been advocating for. Now we have it. Missing office then? Not so much!
The remote work spokespeople from around the world live by the convenience of self-scheduling. When working from home, you get to take a break at any time you want. You won't have your manager's prying eyes to judge you. You can sleep at odd hours. You can Netflix and chill as much as you want. The point is, with remote work, you decide your schedule. As long as the work is done, you are good to go.
Controversial as it may sound, but sometimes being away from the hustle and bustle of the office feels like a blessing. Don't like the chatty co-worker? Well, when at home, you do not have to interact with them unless required. Occasional solitude is good, and being away from the office can bring peace when we want it the most!
Because no commute means you save a chunk of your salary. Oh, and all those birthdays that you don't have to celebrate with others, help you save some extra bucks. The new clothes you don't have to buy, you save money!
Family is the most critical aspect of life, and when you get an opportunity to be around them more, why not opt for it? While at home, you can be with your loved ones even when working. You can connect with them. All those missed conversations can finally take place without you having to worry about missing your deadline. Now honestly, who wants to return to the office when you have your family all around?
Though the pandemic is far from being over, many companies have adopted a hybrid approach as a part of their return to office strategy. You know the one where some days you work from home and others from the office—the model where you get the best of both worlds.
Bonus Read: 5 Return to Office Features You Need
Working from the office has its pros and cons. The choice to return to office depends on individual opinions. While we all miss certain things and want to steer clear of the others, it is only an amalgamation of the two that will get us through.
What do you miss about the office the most? Leave your comments below.
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