If we learned anything from the ongoing pandemic, it’s the embrace of the idea that we may have neglected home. I’m not only talking about the structure, the four walls of physical construct that contain all of our furnishings, our possessions, and our, ahem, junk, but also those who inhabit our homes, including those who are simply home to us in our hearts.
The subsequent Great Resignation that began as restrictions started to lift signaled that people are tired. Tired of the grind, the barely-keeping-up-with-inflation-raises, and the ever-growing demand on their personal time to get the day job done.
Corporations (some) picked up on this and initiated modern workplace initiatives to provide employees a more flexible, balanced work life. Global organizations, especially tech, opted to allow team members to permanently work from home. Many provided a flex, hybrid model that has employees in the office one or two days a week and the remainder of the workweek at home.
Many professionals are wholeheartedly embracing the modern workplace as it reduces the workday commute, stress, and the need to sacrifice personal time, or take time off, to deal with general home life tasks, like meeting the plumber or getting special permission to work from home to manage contractors or landscapers.
Others, however, have not yet adapted to home-based professional life and are yearning — scratch that — begging to get back into the office. Some have gone as far as to resign from remote-based positions in search of one that requires an in-office presence.
Citing the need for face-to-face, personal interaction, some workers are choosing to go back to the office regardless of the potential threat of illness or future lockdowns. Some have suggested that they feel more monitored and watched in their home office because of the freedom that working from home provides. This leads to extended hours, stress, and burnout. Working from an office gives them a start and stop time to their day. Ya gotta go home at some point, right?
But being a home-based professional need not be a burden for the manager, nor feel like a prison cell for the employee. Management teams should be able to count on their reports to get the job done and in turn, employees should be able to use their discretion to decide how they spend their free time, or white space, throughout the day.
Whether it’s stepping outside the house, which is highly recommended for all home-based professionals and entrepreneurs, or sitting on the patio for an hour with a book and an iced tea in celebration of submitting a deliverable early, employees need to have autonomy; in short, they should expect to be treated like adults.
Establishing consistent, repeatable routines at home can be the key to working-from-home success. Once routines are comfortable and normalized as part of daily life, working from home can provide the ultimate freedom, allowing professionals to feel completely at home while at work. If you’re working from home and struggling to get comfortable, stay tuned and plug in, help is on the way!