Why I Am Not Returning To An Office Full-Time
With the desensitization of COVID statistics some want to return to offices. I love teleworking and here is why…
When I first entered the workforce after college I really wanted to go work in an office. Part of this is that I grew up seeing those who went to offices (mostly on TV and later on in-person) as being people who had life figured out and who doesn’t want that?
As we grow up and spend some time in an office, we learn that no one knows what they are doing. We’re all just making up life as we muddle our way through life and this is even more obvious for our most incompetent co-workers.
I also wanted to work in an office because I knew that if I were to work at home, I would be very tempted to play video games all day and risk getting fired. Luckily when I started working from home full-time in March 2020, I am little more mature than I was in my twenties (although not by much) and I have only been slightly tempted to open up Steam in the middle of the day.
Working from home has been wonderful. But as some people are becoming desensitized to COVID-19 statistics, I have been hearing questions asked about when we will all be returning to the office. I have answered a couple surveys, for work, gauging how people are feeling about coming back to the office and I have been brutally honest.
I do no want to return to the office full-time. Ever.
Working from home must be miserable for the extroverts of the office. I like to talk to people sometimes but after I have had my fill of human interaction, I need to get away.
When I work from home I can be on Zoom, Teams, or WebEx to see and talk to my co-workers. But unless I am working with someone (i.e. in a meeting or paired programming) I like the option to sit in silence when I am working.
When I get into the zone, I can get a lot done.
People like to talk and not work. I will admit that I am guilty of it! But I am much more productive when I can remove myself from conversations or hearing other’s conversations. When you are in an office it is much more difficult to move to another (breakout) room or mute conversations (noise canceling headphone are a thing but when people tap you on the shoulder 2 seconds after you put them on, there isn’t much of a point.) When I am home I have control over my environment, I can easily stay in the zone longer, and more gets done.
My cats and my coffee are at home
I enjoy the company of my cats more than I do of anyone I work with. While I was writing the last section, one of my cats jumped up into my lap and made herself comfortable. She does this a couple times a day and it’s always relaxing especially after I spend that extra bit of time (being a hipster) making a cup of pour-over coffee.
There are a lot other reasons I do not want to go back to an office. If I start listing them all I will just be writing a list tiny things that do not mean much on their own, but together make life so much nicer.
Long-term, I will probably always have to sometimes go to an office. But post-COVID I do not plan on working in an office full-time. I know I am privileged in my position for making this thing a goal of mine, but in my profession there is no reason I need to drive to work, work in the office for 8 hours or more, and drive home (all sitting activities). Many employer will buy accessories (i.e. Varidesk, keyboards, mice, etc) but those are not yours. If you ever switch companies, you will need to go through a process of getting those items again. I prefer the standing desks I have at home. It comes out of my pocket, but I have already saved more by not driving as much than I have paid for office supplies.