As everyone waxes eloquent about the perks of working from home, there’s a growing minority of people who miss their office – and are terrified to admit it. If you’re in the minority that’s been forced to multitask between the kitchen and the computer and are hating every minute of it – we hear you! And you are not alone. For every ‘45 minutes of rush hour commute’ saved, there are countless hours lost, as work hours bleed into down time. For all the comfort of working in your pajamas, there is the fact that so is the rest of the family, making it hard to get that focussed, quality work time that was easier to achieve at office. As you fondly reminisce about times when you could grab a coffee without having to bump into undone laundry on the way, or drown out a chatty colleague with earphones, unlike your kids who never get the hint, here’s our list of five things we definitely won’t miss about working from home.
#1. Virtual Meetings
For every time we’ve complained how ‘this meeting could have been an email’, we never thought there would come a day when we’d reminisce about a real-life meeting! Well, that’s what happens when you’ve had just about enough of those video calls. Raise your hands if you’re tired of getting cut off mid-sentence and raise both if 50% of your conversation is “Sorry, can you repeat that?”. What we wouldn’t give to be able to hear people uninterrupted and be heard as well. But it’s not just tech issues, as social beings we crave human interaction – yes you too, Mx. Introvert – and offices play a big role in fulfilling that basic need. And while these virtual meetings are a lifesaver in unprecedented times like these, there really isn’t a replacement for a face-to-face brainstorming session with the team, is there?
#2. Living In Pajamas
While dressing for comfort is essential, after three months of it, pajamas are starting to get to us. There’s only so much you can appreciate about the luxury of working in your jammies before you start missing the energy and motivation getting dressed for the office gives you. Sure, coffee helps but when you’re in clothes that you slept in just hours before, it’s harder to shift gears into work mode. And, no, the whole ‘get dressed like you’re going to work, at home’ routine doesn’t work. Especially when there’s no office gang to compliment your outfit – and why create all that extra laundry for yourself? We certainly can’t wait to get back into our work wardrobe (hopefully everything still fits) and we’re really excited about wearing shoes again! (Remember those?)
#3. All. That. Noise.
If there’s one thing we’ve realised over months of lockdown, it’s that you can recreate many office-like scenarios at home, like a workspace or a virtual meeting room, but you can’t recreate the quiet an office affords. Between doorbells ringing with deliveries, your neighbors’ loud music, kids crying or parents watching TV too loud, whatever your living situation, there’s always an aural distraction or interruption to your flow. And headphones don’t always help. Nothing like all this disturbance to make you miss that white noise of the office where you could get things done way faster. We’ll admit, there was always that extra-loud colleague or the groaning coffee machine that would annoy us, but looking back, we can easily say it was much easier to get into your zen work mode when you weren’t distracted by just the sounds that accompany constantly being at home. The funny part is, your home was probably always this loud but simply by virtue of not being there all the time, you probably never noticed. Neither did we – and we can’t wait to go back to not noticing!
#4. Sharing Your Workspace With Family
We love our kids, spouses, family, roommates and neighbors – but let’s be honest. They don’t make for great colleagues. Whoever thought we’d end up missing the old office gang, the one we took for granted? Intentionally or not, much of our socialising revolves around work. Whether it’s a team lunch to celebrate a milestone, a birthday or a farewell, there’s always a reason to break bread with the ones we work with and it’s (almost) always fun. So it’s only natural that we miss our constant social circle. We’ve all got that work buddy we end up becoming best friends with, or the same group that gets lunch together, and the little breaks that punctuate our work day, fulfilling a need for companionship, even as we get down to business during the day. And sure, you can hang out over a virtual coffee break, but it definitely isn’t the same. We can’t wait to grab Friday night drinks with the office gang – sniff sniff.
#5. The Endless Work Day
While there are definitely cases where working from home helps keep the work-life scale in balance, for the majority, it’s having an office that keeps that scale from tipping. With a commute to clearly outline the beginning and end of a work day (provided it doesn’t take ages) and a home that’s clearly a space for just relaxing, it’s far easier to keep the work and life parts separate. While a home-office is great for those who tend to work in bursts when inspiration strikes, like writers or artists, it isn’t the best for those who have a hard time drawing those boundaries or shutting off their internal work mode.
A well-designed office has furniture that’s built to keep you comfortable while you work – like ergonomically designed chairs and adjustable desks – and it’s the main reason why you’re actually able to channel that productivity day after day. And sure, not having your bed a few steps away helps too, but it’s mostly that atmosphere of productivity and general air of ‘busy-ness’ that keeps you motivated, and it’s fine to admit you have a tough time getting into work mode without it.
We know that heading back to the office post-pandemic will not be anything like your office life pre-Covid19 – we’ll miss that shared pantry for sure – but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a great, socially-distanced, safe office space to bring the ‘work’ part of the work-life balance back into play. If you need any assistance with setting up your office keeping the new safety standards in mind, or even if you just want to send your company a little reminder about the good old office days, here’s a useful guide to reopening your office. At BureauOne, you can choose from a wide range of office furniture, get help from our design experts and even enjoy our white glove delivery service which is the best way to get our furniture to you.