As we enter a second year of working within a pandemic bubble, much is being written about the effects of working from home in a virtual atmosphere. Few employers and employees are commuting to work every day and there is much discussion about buying out office leases with the expectation that employees can work from home except for needing occasional office space for conferences and using specialized equipment. Some have suggested that this will lead to a two-tiered ranking of employees, those who are in the “office” frequently, and those who chose, and are able, to function efficiently at home. Apparently, in this environment those who come to the office frequently are viewed more positively than those who don’t. There are many options to working at home to retain an efficient working environment. A friend of mine in Texas sold huge industrial boilers from his home. But every morning, he dressed in a suit and tie and left his home for “work.” That work was in the back of his house with its own door. He worked there the entire day and then returned “home” after his workday was completed. This routine enabled him to work efficiently and not be tempted to snack throughout the day, or play with the dog, or discuss the kids’ grades with his wife until the day was done.
I used to envy the home-work situation until I thought deeply about my own working environment and what I felt would be missing if I worked at home. The environment I am referring to is that experienced by most professional people in offices across the country. Here are the benefits I believe will be missed by those who choose to work exclusively from home:
With all this history in mind, for me I advocate the office approach. It might he more expensive because of the cost of commercial space these days, but costs are coming down since many firms are giving up their space but, also, the benefits of being together with co-workers and executives you can learn from are, in my opinion, immeasurable.