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Almost exactly two years ago, many businesses made difficult decisions around how to operate safely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, most companies saw their workforce move out of their offices to work from home. Now two years later, we are seeing businesses return to the office with some adopting a hybrid work style.
Recently several big tech companies have been making headlines as they set official dates for their employees to return to the office in the next month. Feel free to check out more about this in the links below!
But what about you and your company? Today, we want to hear from you:
I have been working as a contractor for over 5 years now and 90% of my work has been from home. COVID has prevented me from visiting customer sites and travelling internationally to work with our customers. For me. working from home (unless physical hands are required) is the only working mode that I can understand.
I understand that not everyone has the conditions at home that allow them to work from home, such as space, internet connection, some even need to get away from the kids or family. However, spaces can be created for centralized collaboration or smaller offices for those in need, including social events to build connections with colleges.
Now, Let's look at the reasons I don't see office spaces making sense...From a business perspective, you have massive leasing costs, utilities, internet, A/C, catering for kitchens, Insurance, liability and you limit your selection of skills to those willing to commute/move to the office.From an employee's perspective, the costs of commuting i.e. time, vehicles, public transport, insurance and safety risk, packing or paying for lunch, you are consistently in a position to not deal with family emergencies or could get separated in a disaster (living from experience), long commuters are tired by the time they get to the office, this takes a toll on employees over time.
In saying this, my company has recently just purchased a new space and is building out a new office with the plan to bring all staff back to the office. I'm the exception to this rule only due to my 12000km commute. We are only a few months away from this decision.
I think returning to the office will be a welcome relief for many people. However, I strongly believe the key to this desire is human connection and the perception of a better working environment. When you are working from home these factors become the responsibility of the employee, who cannot rely on the employer to create this environment for them at home, and foster their relationships with colleagues and people outside of work.