Working from home is undeniably convenient. We are more likely to have our own bathrooms, nice quiet surroundings, routine stability, and no one to tell us what to do. All of these are the reasons why many people would prefer to work from home rather than go into an office.
It seems that, on the surface, working from home is all good. However, working from home can have some negative consequences that are not fully understood. The quality of our work is directly related to our success—but there are many things outside of our work environment that can negatively affect the quality of our work. There are also many things outside of our working environment that can positively influence the quality of our work.
1. Building Community
The office is a place for culture, community and collaboration. Being in person allows for you to experience the culture, people and teamwork that thrives in the workplace. Personally, after being hired at The Selling Factory, I dreaded going into the office. Working from the comfort of my own home sounded so much better. I still trudged into the office on my first day and I loved it! I got to see my coworkers’ smiling faces, hear about their weekends and it was so easy to ask questions when I needed help. Not only did I enjoy seeing all my colleagues, I was immersed into The Selling Factory culture within the office. Research shows that culture is evident in the way employees dress, their hours, and the office vibes. Being in person you experience the culture, and become the lifeblood of the company. A company thrives when their employees embody company culture, together you are greater than one in a home office.
Being a part of the community increases your productivity. This is due to your comfortability in an office where you feel welcomed and represented. This boosts goal achievement within the shared space. I know I enjoy sharing and celebrating goals as a company, or individual goals that have been met.
2. Making Connections
When working from the home, you interact with far fewer fellow employees than when in the office. If I continued working from home, I would have never made friends with our front desk security guards Will & Fred. I also would miss out on hearing about my colleagues lives, as they work in a different department and I don’t see them unless I’m in the office. These little interactions throughout your day at the office, allow for relationships beyond your department, as you only connect with those necessary to getting your job done remotely. These little conversations may seem like nothing at the moment, they could be the reason you start a great friendship, or how you get your next promotion.
The few times I work from home, I feel isolated and a little lonely as I only interact with the people necessary to get my job done. There’s no place for me to connect with the people I sit next to in the office. There is no room for collaboration, community or heightened productivity. It is so much easier to roll your chair over to a peer’s desk and work together on troubleshooting an issue, than to schedule a zoom call with them.
3. Separating Work from Relaxation
The lines between your personal and professional lives start to blur when working from the home office. You can quickly respond to those after hour emails, because your computer is only a room away. Rolling out of bed into that meeting is now second nature. As these lines start to blur, you can find yourself working later hours than what you did in the office. It may even feel like you cannot escape work as it has bled into your home life. Unhealthy work life balance increases stress levels, which can eventually lead to burnout if the stress is never managed.
By going back into the office, you can maintain a healthier balance. I’m my experience, the office is my dedicated workspace, completely separate from home where I relax. This allows for me to fill my hours in the office with productive work. I also feel the urge to be more productive in the office as I see others working and completing their duties. Once I walk out of the office I know that is my leisure time, they no longer bleed together. Now when I get home, that is my time and I don’t let work interfere with it. With this healthier balance you can enjoy decreased stress levels along with a work free personal life.
It’s Worth the Commute
Though many people are opting for remote work arrangements, this doesn’t mean you have to give up the benefits of seeing other people in person. The benefits of working face-to-face are often overlooked. Whether it’s learning new tricks from your coworkers, taking a walk outside for some fresh air, or simply having the chance to interact with customers, there are many perks to regularly seeing other people in your office.
We all need that little extra push to stay motivated and engaged in our work day, and the following list of reasons to go back to work in person will help you understand why. Going back into the workplace means we can gain access to an energizing environment that is filled with people who share the same goals, boosting our work day performance and how we connect with our environment.
Go back into the office, it’s worth the commute.