The thought of venturing out to work again after so long at home is understandably causing mixed feelings for people. Leaving the safety and comfort of our homes to head back into an office has some of us a little on edge and others of us raring to go.
Companies are taking different approaches to the easing of restrictions. Many are continuing working from home, others are bringing everyone back in full time, and some are opting for a mix of the two, with a home/office hybrid model of working.
Each of these has its pros and cons, but here at JobLookup, we think there are plenty of things to celebrate about returning to the workplace.
Working face to face with colleagues again
Zoom has been the saviour of lockdown for businesses up and down the country, but we’ve realised over time that it’s just not quite the same as seeing someone in person. The best ideas often come from informal chats in the break room, overhearing a discussion with colleagues, or a random conversation that sparks an idea; all of which are lost with remote working. Being face to face with colleagues again should give us all a boost of creativity and motivation that we’re ready for.
Firmer boundaries between work and home life
Working from home has resulted in blurred boundaries between work and home life for lots of people. It can be tempting to keep going past clocking-off time or catch up on emails at the weekend, but this stops you from ever really switching off from work. Read our 5 Tips to Prevent Work from Home Burnout to help you avoid this trap.
Returning to the workplace gives you that clear boundary of being either at work or at home, with a commute in between to bridge the gap and help with the mind-switch.
Increased structure and productivity to your working day
We all have a new appreciation for the level of motivation and focus needed when working from home. Whether it’s the postman knocking at the door, an overflowing wash basket, or just the call of the fridge, there are plenty of distractions to keep you from your laptop.
Without the clear structure of a day at work, we’ve had to figure out how to manage our time and knuckle down using self-discipline and willpower, which hasn’t always been easy. Going back to a set start time, planned breaks, and a clear finish time will give us back the structure we need to stay focused and productive.
Getting dressed into work attire
You might have fully embraced the sweatpant look over the past 18 months, but if you’re anything like us, you are actually quite looking forward to getting dressed into clothes that don’t have an elasticated waistband. This experience has given us a new appreciation for getting dressed into work clothes in the morning and leaving the house feeling ready to take on anything. There is something very empowering about carefully choosing an outfit and stepping out feeling smart and confident. In fact, we’re using returning to work as the perfect excuse for a whole new work wardrobe.
Socialising with colleagues
For many people, going to work provides much of their weekly social contact. The relationship with colleagues is a unique one; you’ve been thrown together and might never see one another outside of work, but you probably know more about each other’s lives than some members of your own family do. Then there’s the lunch hours, quick coffee break catch-ups, and after-work drinks on a Friday night. Lockdowns have taught us that Zoom is not quite the same as seeing people face to face, so let’s embrace the chance to socialise as we move back into the office.
You might be surprised to see this in our list of positives of returning to the workplace, but hear us out. When you’re working from home, you step out of your home office, straight into family life, with no transition time to process your thoughts and think about what’s next.
Most of us were glad to see the back of the daily commute when we started working from home, but on reflection, it does have its benefits. The journey creates a clear divide between home and work and allows you to switch your mind from one to the other. For those of us with busy home lives, it’s the one and only time of day to get some peace and quiet. Your commute might also be the only chance you get to listen to an audiobook or podcast, read a book, or just let your mind wander.
The mass shift to working from home has challenged the culture of presenteeism and shown companies that flexible working styles can work. As we rejoin the real world again and employers start to welcome us back, there are plenty of positives to look forward to, including the opportunity for growth and progression. If you’ve decided that now is the time to look for new career opportunities, check out our Ultimate Jobseeker Guide for step by step advice on updating your CV and landing the perfect role.