It’s been over a year since the global pandemic of the coronavirus affected the entirety of the human population and sent millions of people who had been working at the office for years to work in the solidarity of their own home. Now, with COVID-19 cases on the decline, some businesses are working to get most – if not all – of their staff back in the office to increase productivity and normalcy, while other companies are using a hybrid work schedule. More companies are now opting for a hybrid workforce model. So you may ask, what is hybrid workforce? A hybrid workforce is essentially where you have a team working remotely while having some staff at the office. This has left millions of individuals on the fence as to whether they should continue to work from home or attempt to return to their offices. If you’re one of those people, then you’ve probably been weighing the pros and cons of each option. In this article, we’ll go in depth about those benefits and detriments to assist in your decision.
Regardless of how long you’ve been working in an office setting, it is certain you have noticed a change in your productivity, whether that be positive or negative. If you find yourself to be increasingly valuable to your job while staying at home, then consider keeping up that status. If you are still tempted to try going back to the workplace, then offer to go in a few times a week to test your yield. If you see positive results, consider going back in person part time. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you found yourself to be more productive while working in the office alongside others and have no other concerns, returning to the office would be your best option. Although every study outcome is slightly different, many found that remote employees attend work more often from the comfort of their own home. However, while this may be true, in other cases, working from home can lead to decreased motivation.
Redundancy and Socialization
Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, most people have suffered from the impending ideal of redundancy. While office work is often considered to be monotonous in the first place, it does offer social and collaborative aspects that are not as prevalent when working from home. If you’re living alone and have been missing in person communication and interaction, returning to work at least part-time would most likely benefit your productivity as well as your mental health. On the flip side, if the routine-like simplicity of working from home offers you security and decreases the likelihood of social surprises, then returning to work would likely increase your anxiety, thus leading to a decline in your production yield. If it is your goal to return to work, then easing into it by starting off as part-time in person would help you gauge your own productivity and see what the best option is for you.
Family and Finances
Everyone has a different family situation, and with that comes different responsibilities. If you’re a parent of young children that aren’t eligible for or are not currently attending school, you may feel or be obligated to stay at home to take care of and watch over them. If this is the case, then working at home may be the better option for you. If you are looking to hire someone (i.e. a babysitter, nanny) because you want to return to work in person, consider the financial benefits and if they outweigh the cost of a caretaker. Along the lines of finances, salary is destined to differ depending on your remote/in person status, generally be greater if you decide to work in person. Therefore, if finances are one of the most important decision factors, going back to work in person (if the salary is higher than working at home) might be the right decision. However, going to work in person poses another obstacle: commuting.
Before the coronavirus took over the world, commuting was normal for most people. However, times have changed. For those who drove themselves to work, gas prices have increased. If you took the train or bus, there is now a limit on the number of occupants, and prices have also increased. In an indirect and unfortunate fashion, many salaries have been cut due to the pandemic. If finances are once again one of your most important factors, then ensuring the in-person salary is worth the price of the commute is vital.
Times have changed, but life is slowly returning to normal. Even so, your reasons for staying at home or returning to work in person are unique to your own life. The period of quarantine and isolation helped everyone realize that their life is exclusively their own. Mapping out personal assets like finances, productivity, and the importance of socialization will assist in your decision. Make sure to take into consideration each aspect listed above and beyond, as well as their prevalence in your life. Wherever you feel the best and most productive is probably the best fit for you, whether that be at home surrounded by family, or in an office surrounded by coworkers and phone calls.