I’m an introvert. And I can happily work from home for long periods of time. But a friend of mine, Delia, just wrote me about her experience returning to the office after over a year away: “I didn’t realize how social I am!” she told me, adding how depressed she had been when forced to work from home day after day.
We see lots of articles about employees working from home and loving it. And that might leave the impression that getting to work in your pajamas or sweat clothes is everyone’s idea of perfection
“Didn’t realize what was missing”
Delia didn’t realize just how depressed she was. Between her kids’ needs and work and finding time to spend with her husband — and of course the extra layer of protecting everyone from COVID — her days were so busy she pretty much assumed she was just tired.
But as soon as she returned to work, she realized what she’d really been missing: interaction with coworkers. The feeling of life and activity all around her. Just being back in the office for Delia turned out to be a whole bigger than the parts. And despite still balancing all the same balls, she felt her energy and what she called her “life spirit” return.
Returning to the office is not everyone’s joy
There are some workers who are saying that they never want to go back to the office. And some employers seem to be ok with that. As long as the work gets done and video meetings help with human interaction, why not let employees enjoy remote work.
Of course, if you’re in a client-facing job. remote work isn’t an option. But for others, especially tech folks, remote work can be very appealing. More and more people are looking for employers who offer remote work opportunities. Even temp jobs are popping up with work-from-home options. (Just make sure to check that the jobs are legit.)
So what about Delia?
Luckily, her boss wants to do all he can to keep employees back in the office — and the company will do their best to keep things safe for everyone. They’ve even issued basic but not-too-rigorous guidelines that everyone who returns to the office has to sign off on. And they’re providing free rapid tests, just in case.
Should things get too bad again, Delia knows she may need to return to working from home. But in the meantime, she is taking advantage of real live human contact., where body language and facial cues add so much to ideas being born — and work getting done well.
Returning to the office has other benefits
On the homefront, Delia’s kids have noticed a little extra sparkle in their mom. Her husband feels it too. Even though she didn’t realize she was depressed, something was definitely missing. Sometimes we just need to get away for a while to feed parts of ourselves we didn’t even know were hungry.
That doesn’t in any way take away from everything we do get at home. It just adds a little extra spice. Especially if you like your job … or at least your coworkers!
More posts to help
And if you do need to quit your job