Working from the office might actually be better for you

Working from the office might actually be better for you

After countless months of working away from the office over the last 2 years, it’s no surprise that many of us have gotten so comfortable working in our active wear, with our fur babies at our feet that we find the concept of returning to work from the office horrifying.

Working remotely has huge perks. But before you hand back those office keys, have you considered what you are giving up? Going back to the office has some significant benefits for employees and employers.

Here are 5 reasons why:

Achieving a healthy work-life balance

Whilst it’s true that working from home mean less commute stress and comes with flexible hours, the line between work and life often becomes blurred when you are living, working and eating from the same dining room table. Ironically, working from the office helps ensure people don’t work too much. Having a clear “place of work” allows you to walk away at the end of the day; leaving the stresses of the day in the office.

Optimising your focus

Ever wondered why the dirty dishes in the sink at home is harder to ignore than the dirty dishes in the office kitchen? Studies have shown that familiar environmental cues can automatically trigger your brain to ignore distractions and focus.  Walking through the office doors tells your brain it’s time to work. The more focused you are, the more efficient and effective you will be.

Serendipitous interactions promote innovation

The value of a serendipitous interaction in the kitchen or at the printer should never be underestimated. Those moments of unplanned conversations can often lead to improved problem-solving, productivity, and creativity.

Those moments don’t come easily with a remote team, where your conversations are scheduled, and the mid-afternoon trips to the coffee machine is a solo activity.

Achieve greater learning and collaboration

The workplace is an environment in which to coach and be coached, and to celebrate success. Sociologically, the most important way people learn is through watching other people. Even when we’re not consciously aware of it, we’re always watching and modelling others’ behaviours.

The old adage of “out of sight, out of mind” can inadvertently creep in when we are working remotely. A lot of information sharing happens through short, informal conversations between people over the course of a normal workday. The impromptu teaching sessions, the 2-minute chat with your manager to solve simple issues and the spontaneous brainstorming meetings where you bust out the whiteboard occurs more naturally when we are working side by side.

Be smarter together

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, we all have a need for connections with others. Although the amount of time with others you desire may vary, research has shown that if we don’t have adequate time face-to-face, we experience a decline in mental wellbeing.

Being around others makes us all smarter. The performance of each individual in a team tends to be positively impacted by the experience of being surrounded by a community and its collective knowledge. Research at Harvard University found when researchers were in closer proximity, their academic papers were of higher quality.

Working with purpose

Achieving a goal requires effort, and effort requires motivation. But motivation during the pursuit of a goal can wax and wane; especially when you are sitting in your home office alone all day, every day. Spending time with colleagues in the office can help you maintain the motivation.

The phenomenon of goal contagion occurs when observing the actions of other people often leads you to adopt their same goals.  Being around a group of people working towards a common mission reinforces the goal across the workplace. When you feel connected to the mission of the business, your overall job satisfaction is likely to improve.

Focused group of diverse young designers working on a laptop together at a desk in their startup office



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