Returning to the Workplace After COVID-19 – Are You Ready?
Most of the country managed to successfully work remotely for an entire year so why aren't businesses embracing working remotely as the "new normal?"
I admit that when our offices opened back up to the non-essential employees a couple of weeks ago, it felt strange. For nearly an entire year, the only people who were inside our building were those of us who are essential and we got comfortable working without ringing phones, purring copy machines, and people walking at fast paces all around us.
While not open to the general public, our office is now open to all employees and in a way, I think that work productivity has gone down a bit. Instead of just one or two meetings a week, there are multiple now that there are more people in the building, and also because there are more people in the building, there are more questions and conversations that pull a person from the task at hand.
In NO way am I saying that I'm not happy to see my co-workers in person because I AM, but it does feel somewhat strange to have such a chaotic buzz around the office when it's been chaotic yet quiet for a year.
There seems to be a tug of war when it comes to whether to allow employees to work remotely or to enforce returning to the workplace following COVID. Some people, like my work partner, do much better when they work in-office while others, like me, tend to do better when we can work from home. However, I have noticed that when I work from home, I tend to put in quadruple the hours and that seems to be a big reason why some companies are starting to bring employees back into the office - because burnout is very real and very serious.
On the side of believing that burnout is serious are Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, and Citigroup CEO Jane Fraiser who says she will have her employees work two days at home and three days in the building once the pandemic is deemed over.
Other major companies trying to figure out the best way to bring employees back into the building are Google who says some of its employees will return for a few days in office later this month and Wells Fargo plans to bring employees back at the end of the summer after the Labor Day holiday.
If you've been working remotely, how do you feel about returning to the office on a daily or every other day basis? If you're someone, like me, who has been working out of the office during the whole pandemic while most of your co-workers have been out of office, does it feel different now that they're starting to return to the building?