Nothing can beat waking up five minutes before it’s time to clock in only to turn on the coffee maker and sit on the couch in full comfort mode, pajamas and all. Companies are attempting to return to the office, but the likelihood of people willingly returning is low. Despite the pushback at the beginning of COVID, most people are used to working from home and have found ways to make the shift positive.
Returning to the offices will be a shift back to normalcy that is not for everyone. It took months for most companies to figure out how to make remote work a possibility. People’s daily lives now revolve around working from home, including new schedules, habits, personal wellbeing. Working from home can induce a sense of cabin fever, making employees stir crazy at home for most of the day. For some, activities like working out, yoga, and even gardening were hobbies that there wasn’t time for but have become a necessity. Working and living in the same space can be stressful, but employees have found ways to cope and manage their stress levels while balancing daily life. Being back in the office will disrupt their new routine and force them to make another change. Employers can expect pushback from staff and a drop in productivity as they return to the office and readjust to shared spaces. Not dissimilar to the initial pushback and loss of productivity when employees took their work home. Not everyone has the same living situation, and for some, it isn’t conducive to productivity. Offices provide a neutral ground where employees can focus entirely on their work and stay on track.
The quality of life in each city determines employees’ willingness to return to the office. In bustling cities, rush hour traffic, seasonal weather, and expensive gas prices won’t encourage employees to come in every day. Over time, likely, employees will adopt an on-and-off schedule working some days from home and some in the office if their employer allows it. Zoom has emerged as one of the largest video conferencing platforms and led the shift for working online. Access to a computer and the internet is not a luxury that a lot of families can afford. If they don’t have the necessary tools at home to complete their work, they will have no choice but to return to the office. The world has changed significantly, and the global workforce has realized they have options in their workplace. Everyone’s personal life has complexities, and it is up to employers to accommodate to the best of their ability. Communicating specific needs and creating a personal plan are all steps that will make defining a workstyle easy. At first, the workforce may not be completely willing to return to offices. Over time, they may learn to enjoy the structure that was missing while working at home.