It's been two years since the world turned upside down, with people around the world being forced into lockdowns and having to work from home where possible. It is during this time that people found that actually they can be productive when working from home, and many have since then decided they don't want to return to an office for many reasons.
However, there are differing opinions. Those who believe that anyone who wants to continue working remotely is lazy, and honestly? That makes me angry because I have done my best work during this time. It is a shortsighted view that doesn't take into account the needs of employees or any of the research conducted on this.
Note: I know there are many professions where working remotely is not an option. This blog focuses on my perspective as someone who predominantely worked in an office for years before going fully remote.
Lord Sugar is one of those individuals, he tweeted this just the other day and the majority of responses agree that this is an old fashioned view.
In the before-times, I did have the option to work remotely as needed, and often I would spend 3-4 days in the office and the rest at home. During this time I will admit I did spend some of my time getting chores done and I still do today now that I work remotely full time, but I still get my work done.
That is the important part of the equation. I believe as long as you have an open line of communication with your manager, and are successfully delivering for your company then there should be no problem with spending time doing things that are important in your life (including chores).
There are countless benefits that I've experienced since I've started working remotely full time, and none of these would be possible without a fully supportive manager and team (at the time of writing I'm working for a fully remote company, so I don't have an office nearby to go to anyway).
Here's a list of ten things that make working remotely worth it for me:
- Dogs: I love the extra time with my dogs. Not to mention it would be unfair to return to an office now they're used to the company all day, and afternoon walks in the park.
- Work-Life Balance: This has been huge, being able to take time to go to the gym (without getting up ridiculously early), adjust my work schedule to suit what's happening in my life and still getting my work done.
- No commuting: I used to spend over 3 hours a day, 5 days a week communiting into the office. That works out roughly 700 hours back a year. 🤯
- Savings: Related to the above, I used to spend about £2,500 on train tickets and fuel every year. That difference that alone is huge, not to mention the other savings from not eating out all the time.
- Breakfast: I used to rush out of the house every morning with no breakfast, instead Elliot and I are able to sit down to a proper breakfast every morning.
- Comfort: I never wear pyjamas when I'm working, but I do wear comfies and have a super fluffy jacket I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing in an office
- Less Distractions: I definitely get less work done in an office, because there are always people around to chat with or something happening.
- Appointments: Easier to adjust my schedule to attend appointments, without having to pre-arrange working from home to attend.
- Time Recovered: I have more time to read books, play video games and things that would otherwise have felt too much for me in the past as I wouldn't have been able to take the time. Now I have more of that time.
- Environmental Impact: Being able to reduce my carbon footprint by no longer commuting is also a huge benefit for me.
There are a bunch of other things that I could mention here, but that could get repetitive. Though it's safe to say that I enjoy working remotely.
I know I've had the benefit of starting my career in an office, and others starting their careers may miss out some of the in-person events, along with being able to poke someone on the shoulder for help. However, with appropriate remote working conditions I don't see any reason why someone can't be fully supporting in a remote environment.
It would be remiss of me not to mention some of the things that are drawbacks of not being in an office:
- Office Banter: I loved all the in-office antics, mostly hanging out with my peeps in the breakout area until everyone made it into the office.
- Panko: The restaurant that started my love of Teriyaki and Katsu Curry, I do miss being able to walk there for lunch.
- Gossip: Full cards on the table, I loved being able to pick up on office gossip in the breakout areas and even at the desks. It's not just as easy over Slack. 🤷🏻♀️
Most of the reasons that I miss being in an office are social, but I also don't feel like I'm missing out on that social connection with my current team (despite not having met in person after one full year...).
Overall, the benefits of working remotely have had such a positive impact on my emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing that I don't see myself returning to an office unless the circumstances were right.