I know I shouldn't say this, given all the pain and damage this pandemic has caused, but it definitely had had one positive effect on me - WfH - working from home!
I'm working from my home office for nearly 2 years now and I could not be happier with that. On the contrary - I can't even begin to understand how people are celebrating the fact that "the pandemic is over and return to office is imminent" (ok, the "the pandemic is over" part is legit).
In my opinion, working from home is just the superior work model if your job allows it. Of course, it's not for everyone but if your job involves sitting in front of a computer the whole day, sometimes talking to people, I'm pretty sure that working from home is a viable option, no matter what others are telling you.
I always knew that I wanted to work like that. But honestly, I often felt bad about it, when I mentioned it to others. The common reaction usually was:
But what about:
- social contacts, isolation?
- company culture?
- work output?
- amenities (food, coffee, ...)?
Well, let's go through these.
The Social Factor?
No, I am not afraid of isolation. Maybe that's where I am different but I actually don't need to be in spitting distance of others all day. I don't need someone around me all the time, especially when I'm trying to focus and concentrate. I'm perfectly happy with instant messaging and video calls. Honestly, I think just this factor has nearly doubled (at least dramatically improved) my productivity in the last 2 years.
Apparently, commuting to a building and working there is important for company/office/work culture. I keep hearing this over and over but I have no idea what this actually means and nobody could explain this to me so far 🤷♂️.
I can only think of images like this one when I hear the term company culture.
So conversely, this must mean that fully remote companies like GitHub do not have shared values or company culture. I have a hard time believing that ...
To me, this "argument" is simply bunk.
This might also be related to the above-mentioned social factor and people probably draw motivation from physically being in the same room with others. Well, I don't. I have had days when I felt no motivation being in company offices and I have had bad days in my home office. If at all, I want to say I find it easier to overcome a bad day at home. I take a break, talk to my wife, play with my kids, go for a run, recharge.
I was really reluctant to write that down at all and it bothers me that there's still the perception that people would work less or slack off the whole day when they are working from home. Here's the thing: people slack off in company offices all the time - but all the office chit-chat, watercooler conversations, and coffee dates are labeled "networking, cross-team-exchange, ..." - hmm, dunno. On the other hand, the risk of self-exploitation when working from home is much bigger. It's harder to detach from work - physically and mentally.
I get it, but if this is among the most important reasons to go to the office, motives should be questioned. And honestly, I prefer the food and coffee in my house 😆.
- If you have a long commute like I do, the time saved is literally a gift! I can use this time to spend with my family and friends, pursue hobbies, do sports.
- The money saved when not driving every day really adds up.
- It's good for the environment when you're not driving - d'uh!