7 Reasons To Get Back To The Office
It has been so important for us to all play our part in keeping Covid-19 case numbers down by staying at home, but as we see the light at the end of the tunnel and we begin to slowly transition back to office life, don’t despair! Going to the office is actually GOOD for you! Here are 7 reasons why:
1. Improved Mental & Physical Health
Whilst the idea of telecommuting (yes, there is an actual word for rolling out of bed and heading to your home desk) may have seemed like a dream come true at the beginning of the first lockdown, it has begun to take its toll on our mental wellbeing.
Working from home not only leaves us vulnerable to decreased physical activity and increased loneliness, but the knock-on effect can make us more sluggish, more lethargic, and ultimately, less productive. There are a select (lucky) few who thrive on working from home, but for most of us the need for social interaction is imperative to our mental wellbeing.
2. Creates Structure
Does it often feel like you haven’t had a weekend since February 2020? How often have you forgotten what day of the week it is? Having a structured working day/week allows us to appreciate those times we do have at home and gives us that much-needed routine in our lives. Not having structure in your life can lead to longer lay-ins in the morning, and wasted time. Adding structure to our lives allows us be to more efficient and enables us to live in the moment, appreciating life’s “little things”.
3. Social Interaction
Whoever we are, the truth is that humans are social creatures. Even the most introverted of us require some form of human interaction, and whilst Zoom has helped, it cannot give the emotional heft that social interaction truly requires.
Being physically in contact with our colleagues stimulates more natural conversation and leads to more openness which means we are better able to speak our minds, voice our opinions, and learn from each other. Without those human connections, we become vulnerable to decreased productivity, loneliness and depression.
Having 10 people in a room brainstorming ideas is much more productive than having 10 people in a virtual meeting brainstorming ideas.
With everyone talking over each other on their screens, this can cause the more subdued of us to stay quiet and not bring any ideas to the (virtual) table. As the saying goes “Teamwork makes the dreamwork”, and office environments aid creativity far more than being alone behind a screen.
5. Work/Life Balance
For the perfect work/life balance it’s imperative that we can switch off and recalibrate our brains. Having a start and an end time to your working day allows us to switch off, and not take the stresses of the day home. When working from home the division between work and home life is blurred. This will affect not only your mental health but can put strains on relationships with those you live with. If you’re lucky enough to have a designated “office” in your home it can be easier to close the door on the day, but for most of us whose living rooms – or even bedrooms – have become our offices in the last 12 months we don’t have that luxury. Leaving your computer on and hearing that ping of an email come in at 8pm on a Friday night – will you ignore it? Or will you quickly check who it’s from? Temptation gets the better of us all, we all end up reading and likely replying to that message that really can wait until Monday. Next thing you know it’s 11pm and you’ve forgotten to feed the dog (or yourself for that matter), not the best way to start your weekend...
6. Improved Productivity
The biggest hurdle we all face when remote working are the multiple distractions there are when we’re at home.
Procrastination is the enemy of the efficient – there is always laundry to do, dishes to wash, shows to watch. How often have you decided to eat your lunch in front of the TV only to find yourself binge-watching old episodes of Friends for the 3rd time, suddenly you realise you’ve lost 3 hours of your day? Whilst we may be relishing not being micro-managed, it also means we could be getting less work done.
7. Optimal Environment
Offices are designated workspaces, it’s not by accident that everything you need is within reaching distance. It’s what they’re there for.
You’ve got your big desk, superfast WIFI, ergonomic chairs, and adequate lighting. Whilst a lot of businesses have been great at providing appropriate home-office equipment and furniture, they can’t do anything about your upstairs neighbour who’s decided to use his time at home to do some very noisy DIY!
In summation, whilst it is okay to feel nervous about coming back to the office after so long away, you can be assured that doing so will not only make you more efficient, you’re going to feel a weight off your shoulders too.