Why You Should Want to Return to the Office (Even if You’re Dreading It)

returning back to work

Remember when we were all freaking out because we suddenly had to start working from home full time? To be fair, it was also the fact that the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic had descended upon us. But still, the sudden and disruptive shift to fully remote work seems like history.

Now, more than two years later, many of us have happily adapted to our work-from-home lifestyles. A recent report from the Pew Research Center says that 78% of U.S. workers want to continue working from home full time despite the fact that companies are starting to call workers back to the office.

Some CEOs are demanding that all employees return to the office full time or face termination (we’re looking at you Elon Musk). Fortunately, for fans of remote work, many firms are offering a hybrid approach to work. But after two-and-a-half years of working from home, even going into the office on a part-time basis may seem unthinkable to some.

9 Reasons Why Going to the Office is a Good Idea

returning back to work

Even if you’re dreading the idea of going back to the office, here are some reasons why you should want to go—at least one or two days a week.

1. A Chance to Build (or Rebuild) Camaraderie 

There’s nothing that can replace face-to-face interactions when it comes to building relationships. When you’re working virtually, it’s easy to get hunkered down in front of your laptop. You might go the entire day without interacting with anyone outside of meetings or strictly “shop talk.”

You may have lost touch with co-workers who you also considered to be your friends. When you go to the office, there are so many more opportunities to build relationships and camaraderie.

You can go to lunch co-workers, grab a quick coffee, or simply talk about the latest binge-worthy drama when you need a break. None of these opportunities exist if you continue to only work from home.

2. More Water-Cooler Moments

returning back to work

Some use the term water-cooler moments. Others prefer elevator moments. Call them what you want, but they both describe the moments when you bump into a co-worker in the elevator, in the break room, or at the water cooler and a spontaneous conversation starts.

Maybe you check on the status of a project. Perhaps a brief brainstorm session starts. Or, you have a quick conversation helps solve a small problem before it gets any bigger. These spontaneous moments aren’t possible if you work from home.

3. Improved Mental Health

Research studies have shown that along with the convenience of working from home, many employees have experienced increased anxiety, depression, fatigue, sleeplessness, burnout, and feelings of isolation.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, then it’s best to first seek the help of a mental health professional. In addition, returning to the office just once or twice per week can provide social stimulation and variety to help boost your mood and increase feelings of well-being.

Humans are social creatures. Even the introverts among us need some regular human interaction to feel our best.

4. Improved Work-Life Balance

returning back to work

Now, you may be wondering, “How can my work-life balance improve by returning to the office?” We get it. Usually, the reason people want to work from home is to improve work-life balance.

However, something shifted over the past couple of years as working from home became the norm. Without a commute, workers began logging in earlier and working later than they ever had before. Those who once stuck to a 9-to-5 schedule could easily put in 12 to 14 hours a day without even realizing it.

In those cases, a return to the office at least some days of the week could assist with attaining work-life balance. A morning commute will prevent you from starting your workday earlier than you need to. In the evening, you can truly leave work at work as soon as you’re in your car.

5. Increased Visibility

There are still leaders who want to see people at their desks doing real work. They want the office to “feel” busy. No matter how much proof comes their way about the benefits of working from home, they won’t change their mind.

That’s why it’s good for you to pop into the office a couple of times per week. You may roll your eyes and say, “I’d get twice as much done at home.” However, you want leadership to see your face and know who you are. It may help benefit your career growth down the line.

6. More Focused Meetings

returning back to work

When you go into the office, you can sit in a room with people, and have a real face-to-face meeting in a distraction-free environment.

There are no dogs barking, kids barging in, or neighbors’ leaf blowers whining in the background. Plus, you know that attendees are listening and paying attention to each other.

When it comes to virtual meetings, everyone’s off screen, on mute, and doing who knows what else? There are times when we’ve all washed dishes, checked a YouTube video, or texted friends when we should have been paying attention.

7. On-Site Benefits

Think about the on-site benefits you enjoyed before the pandemic. Many employers offer free snacks and/or lunch, a fitness center, mental health counselors, free healthcare services, an on-site dry cleaner, and more. These are all benefits you can enjoy again upon your return. 

8. Real Office Equipment

Some of us may have a killer home office set up. But let’s be real, there are still many of us working from the kitchen table or from a corner in the bedroom.

Going into the office gives you access to large-screen monitors, real office furniture, a high-quality printer, plus all the free WIFI you could ever want.

9. Supporting Local Businesses

returning back to work

You know who’d love to see you back in the office? The owner of the deli where you got your lunch every day. The barista at the coffee shop where you grabbed your latte. Also, the bartender at the pub where you enjoyed a drink after work.

Many small businesses depend on commuters to supply the bulk of their business. We all know how hard it was for little independent businesses to survive these past two years. A return to your office will give you a chance to support those small businesses once again. 

The Hybrid Approach May Be Best for All 

The hybrid approach may be the ideal situation for most workers. You get the convenience of working from home, while also getting all the benefits of social interaction and putting in “face time” with leadership.

Make sure you plan to go into the office. It may be overwhelming at first, but once you do it, we think you’ll be glad you did. 

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Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.

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