When we think about 2020, it seems like it was ages ago, making us remember the pandemic and bringing bad memories. At Howdy, we always like to see the glass half full (or the app half-coded), so we are thankful for one thing that year gave us: the possibility to get out of the office and work remotely.
Nowadays, some companies are recalling their employees to the office. This news knocked on the door of our attention, so today in a new Howdy blog entry, we’ll explore it and give our perspective.
Work From Home I : Offices strikes back
Ah.. It’s 2023, you just brewed some coffee while wearing your favorite pajamas, and you’re about to start your work routine; you go to your desk in the room next to your bedroom, turn on the computer, open social media to read the latest news and a headline made your coffee sip tastes more bitter: Companies are looking for their employees to go back to the office. Based on a true story.
Some companies are asking employees to return to the office at least a few days a week, but people are not convinced at all, as after three years of working from home, they say that working remotely gives them a better work-life balance.
The reason for this office recall? Major companies say that going back improves connection and collaboration. “We’ve heard from Googlers that those who spend at least three days a week in the office feel more connected to other Googlers, and that this effect is magnified when teammates work from the same location,” wrote Google Head of People Fiona Cicconi in a memo announcing the company would be enforcing its in-person policies.
Work From Home II : Remote new world
The change from working in offices to doing it remotely during the pandemic didn’t only affect our daily routines, but how our bodies work too. The quiet environment of home offices has conditioned our brains to work in silence, without the constant noise of office chatter, ringing phones, or clattering keyboards. This change made us more susceptible to distractions when returning to work in an office.
However, this situation comes with a trade-off. As we get more used to the quietness of our homes, our ability to filter out the noises of the office weakens. Over the last time, we’ve witnessed a decrease in productivity. While there are lots of factors, one stands out: the cacophony of the office environment that comes with the return to the office.
As employees come back to the office after a long time at WFH, they have to confront lots of sounds and stimuli they had almost forgotten. These sounds, once a normal part of the day-to-day, have become big distractions that affect productivity.
Work From Home III : A new hope
The truth is that remote work has already transformed the way we work and led the way into this new normality. A report by FlexJobs shows that remote work is expected to keep growing over the next decade, showing that besides this office recall, it will become the norm rather than the exception.
Previously we talked about the benefits of remote and on-site work because if we have to speak the truth, both are great. It may sound like we don’t want to take part, and yes, we don’t want to; we want to show a new possibility: having the freedom to choose your office. As we spoiled you in the headline of this article, for us the office is where the heart is.
Each employee should be able to choose a work model that fits them; some manage to have a better performance working remotely and others on-site. Besides that, we all have personal lives that run parallel to our work lives, and maybe there are weeks you need to spend more time in your home and, sometimes, you may need to go to the office.
We hope that this discussion helps companies build around this new possibility and give their employees the opportunity and the freedom to choose whatever is better for them, always prioritizing the work-life balance.