2020 came with a lot of ups and downs, but nothing seemed as universally enjoyed as the wide-spread ability to work from home. The introduction of this practice on a mass scale brought mixed emotions and arguments to the table. For some, it was a great way to work and feel safe during a pandemic. For others, it was lackluster and unmotivating, leaving much to be desired.
From day one, it has been clear that a work-from-home practice is not for everyone. Because of this, companies are beginning to offer more options for how and where their employees work. Flexibility is the new normal! Undeniably, it is tempting to choose to work from home, but is that the best choice for you? We break down some of the best ways to tell below.
Intimacy and Quality in Communication
Working from home often means that you depend on virtual communication. Between emails, zoom meetings, and apps like Microsoft Teams, it can feel like you are talking to people just as often, if not more, than you would in office. While that could be true, that does not mean that those conversations carry the same impact that an in-person conversation might. So how do you know if you are getting the quality that you need from your communication? It is up to the individual to judge.
In person, the workplace gives us a reason to get to know those we work with. When we share a space with others, it can be comforting to know more about them, or at least open the lines for surface-level communication. Even if you are not looking to learn about their daily life, learning about how they operate as an employee can make a working relationship comfortable and easy.
Offices and in-person workplaces force us to develop relationships with others. Office parties, events, and even daily meetings create shared experiences to bond over without extra effort from employees. You can get involved in these virtually, but if others are experiencing it in person, it can be easy to feel left out and unattached.
That being said, making quality connections online is absolutely possible, but that does not mean that it is the best method for everyone. Some people find comfort and success in using virtual communication to connect with coworkers and clients alike. Being candid over emails and video calls can come naturally to some. A work from home set up can be ideal for them, but, ultimately, it will be up to individuals to determine if they are getting quality interactions through virtual means.
Separating Work and Home
Separating work and home can go beyond a mindset. While it is important to put yourself in the right mental space for work, it is just as important to put yourself in the right physical place for work as well. The right physical space can be different for everyone. Some people will feel the most comfortable in the office while others might find that they focus better when home alone. None of these options are wrong, but it is important to know what works best for you.
Working in the office does come with a certain amount of perks. It may seem odd to say, as many of us count the days until the weekend, where we are free of office constraints, but the fact is that the office is an effective way to keep employees focused and productive. It gives us a time and location designation for when we are supposed to switch to ‘work-mode’. Equally, it lets us know when we can shut that part of our brains off to enjoy our time away from work.
Working from home can created blurred lines. Distractions such as pets, children, and chores can make it difficult to focus in the first place. This bad habit can continue into time-off and weekend hours, where using your home computer can lead to checking your work emails, calling clients, and delving back into what you already spend five days a week focusing on.
A successful home workplace is still a viable option, but it is important to keep these factors in mind. There are pros and cons for working from home. We can ensure that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks if we are actively aware of out own actions, distractions, and their effects on our work and home life balance.
Motivation and Productivity
Motivation and productivity can come from many areas. It is often that we see workplaces that offer rewards or exclusive events for high-earners, leaders, and employee-of-the-month types. These can be incredibly effective, especially because it lets employees know that upper management is watching their work.
When working in an office, things like this can create an easy path for communication, be it friendly competition between employees or a way for a boss to address the work of an employee. When working from home, it can create an air of anxiety, as the employees do not get the daily feedback that they might from casual interactions in-office. Combatting this relies on the work of both bosses and employees to keep regular, open, and candid forms of communication.
On the other hand, some jobs come with a required need for being self-motivated, like sales or research jobs. These can translate well into a work-from-home structure, but not all job types create the same culture or practices. For those who need peer pressure to keep focused and moving, an office would be ideal over a work-from-home situation. None of these options are wrong, but individuals need to be aware of their preferences and abilities before committing to one or another.
A hybrid office style is no longer an odd or unheard-of idea. As a hybrid office, Radius Staffing Solutions employs these methods and more to figure out the best way to engage and encourage our employees to make the best choices for themselves.
If you are interested in hiring the right candidates to help you make a transition to a successful hybrid workplace, then be sure to fill out our contact form and we will connect you with a dedicated recruiter. If you are interested in becoming part of a new workplace, perhaps one open to flexible work solutions like this, then be sure to check out our job board!