The Reasons we Prefer the Office to Home Working
As a nation, most of us are used to the 9 to 5 (OK 8-6) of office working. This has been scuppered in recent times by the presence of a rather unwelcome virus and it’s far reaching effects. Now, instead of the daily commute to the office, there is a daily commute downstairs to make our own coffee instead of the convenience of the office coffee machine, after which we sit down at a desk where we pretty much remain for the next 9 perhaps 10 hours of the day. So, while home working undeniably has its benefits (including less time sat in traffic), it’s pretty safe to say that most of us would much prefer to be back in an office. But why do we miss the office so much?
The Challenge to Focus
This is the first challenge. Finding a space in the house away from the distractions of children and their school days which finish (when at school) at least two hours earlier than the average office day. Then there’s the dog who insists on being let out every half an hour or looks at you longingly until you cave and take him for a walk, hopefully he won’t bark at the postman while you are on that important call. OK, so an office may be noisy but it’s a kind of background noise that we have got used to. We can deal with phone calls while being shouted out across the department floor to be at a commercial meeting in 5.
Switching Off After a Busy Day
It’s not unusual to hear people say that they feel more accountable, that their time isn’t their own or that they are always at work. Not being able to leave the office at the end of the day and switch off on the commute home can mean that some people find themselves working longer days. Great for productivity, or is it? Do employers want their staff to feel like work is their life? Is it counterproductive and are we more demotivated by this feeling that we are attached to our laptops 24/7?
The Camaraderie of a Busy Office
Gossiping round the office coffee machine about what happened at the office party or who did what at the weekend is no more. Now, the closest we get to chatting with colleagues is the pre-amble to a Zoom meeting or the direct Whats App/instant message chats. The laughter, the office banter, the interaction with people is missing. We crave that social aspect of our working lives that we haven’t had for a year now.
Celebrating People’s Successes
On a sales floor, where life is all about targets, the celebration of success is noticeably absent. No ringing of bells, no fist pumping the air when you make a sale. No customer service successes where you convert an unhappy client to a happy one. All of these things that used to be celebrated as a team are now done in a virtual space which, while employers do everything they can to keep team morale up, is rather difficult.
No Office Lunches or Parties
The office lunches with the girls, the drinks to celebrate Tony from accounts birthday, the office parties… these were a part of working life and something that many are missing. Even just gathering around the office coffee machine or chit chat in the elevator are things that we look forward to again.
Dressing for the Office
There are some that might argue that they enjoy getting up and logging on in their pyjamas and not having to worry about to wear. There are others that will dress for a day at work to get themselves in the right frame of mind for the day ahead. For those that liked to choose what outfit to wear to work, buy work shoes, work bags and compare the latest purchases of that weekend, it’s definitely a part of working life that is missed. While we are undoubtedly saving money on purchasing our work wardrobes, there was something rather enjoyable about it. It’s fair to say, we have all amassed an impressive array of casual wear that has been delivered to the door from various online outlets.
Variety is the Spice of Life
From that morning 9am prep meeting to the creative meeting post lunch, we miss the variety of a working day. Working from home can see us sat in the same spot all day for every meeting. You rarely leave your desk (apart from walking the dog or making lunch) and every task takes place in the same place. Home working does not offer the variety that the office working day does and we miss it.
Good Coffee from the Office Coffee Machine
If you had a good office coffee machine and a well-stocked supply to choose from, you may be missing your morning coffee. It’s not quite the same when you have to make it yourself at home. Well, the good news is that we are still here, ready to serve you and your team when you get back to the office. For those of you that have found a way to work in a Covid-secure office environment, give us a call and let us supply you with the kind of coffee that a good work force deserves.