4 Things to Consider When Debating on Returning to the Office
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely revolutionized the way people work. Every company has a different culture and approach to adapting to our new normal. Some companies are completely remote and aren’t planning on re-opening an office space at all. Other companies are practicing the hybrid approach, which essentially lets employees work partially from home and partially from the office. You also have organizations who have completely returned to the office full time.
While the number of COVID cases is thankfully decreasing, a lot of people aren’t fully prepared to return back to the office on a daily or even partial basis. If your company is giving you the option to decide independently, then you’re one of the lucky ones!
But when we really think of the implications of staying remote full time, especially while others in the company are choosing to return to the office on a partial or full time basis, certain questions arise and more considerations come into play.
For example, will my employer look at me differently if I stay home and my coworkers don’t? Will I lose out on opportunities if I choose to stay home?
In this blog, we go over all the things you should consider when debating to stay fully remote as your company begins a transition to working back in the office.
There is a famous saying that has been around for a while now: “Out of sight, out of mind”. While this quote has a lot of meaning and is relevant for a variety of things, it definitely plays a role in the workplace.
Allowing your boss to physically see you, being around for others in times of need, and simply being present makes a huge difference when it comes to your career and advancing up the ladder.
This isn’t to say that those who work from home aren’t working hard and won’t be rewarded for their hard work. In fact, those who work from home probably work harder than those in the office in order to compensate for not being there. Rather, it simply means that you will not only be doing amazing work on a daily basis but you would be constantly and visually reminding your employer and coworkers of your presence and how the company would completely fall apart without you!
Even the Washington Post has commented on the long term effects of working from home on a person’s career. In their recent study, they learned that 23% of in-office employers were promoted within their first 12 months of work, while only 10% of employees who worked from home were promoted.
Home Office Costs
The benefits of working from home are really non-negotiable. Being able to start work while still in your pajamas is truly priceless, but the price of working from home is definitely not. While your salary will remain the same, your electricity bills, water bills, and so much more will certainly increase.
According to The Drum, in the U.S alone, house bills have risen between 10% – 20% from the work from home shift and in England, monthly house bills increased by a minimum of 28 pounds.
Paying for comfort is a luxury some can afford but it is definitely something to consider when debating on returning back to the office. Start by seeing if the increase in energy bills fits in your budget or not.
A poor work-life balance has always been a concern, even before the pandemic. However, it is now easier to blur the lines between work time and free time. When working from home, many try to overcompensate and end up working extra hours. The moment you wake up, you automatically check emails and begin the working day without having personal time beforehand.
When working from home, it becomes more challenging to really separate work time and home time, which can severely impact your personal relationships with your family, partner, and friends.
Working in an office allows you to meet people and collaborate in ways you simply cannot do online. It also allows you to develop new ways of thinking, to easily share new ideas, and to learn new things that will enhance your work style.
In addition, when working fully from home, the isolation can lead to loneliness and low self-esteem. Many people look forward to waking up in the morning, putting on some nice clothes, and sharing their lives with other people.
That simple pleasure of grabbing lunch with your coworkers actually plays a huge role on mental health, which should always be the #1 priority for everyone. At the end of the day, there’s nothing like face-to-face meetings and work sessions.
Working in an office definitely has its challenges (traffic, less personal time, etc.) but it can be the perfect tool to differentiate yourself from coworkers, to improve your social life, and to even save you money!