6 Reasons People Should Want to Go Into the Office — At Least Some of the Time

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Caroline Juszczak232
April 15, 2024 at 2:55AM UTC

Just when we got comfortable working from home, the shift back to the office has already begun. In a recent (virtual) company meeting, reasons people gave for wanting to remain working from home full-time ranged from gas prices to being an introvert to being the owners of needy dogs. It’s been a tough couple of years where the consensus has shifted from, “You can’t force me to lock down” to “You can’t force me to leave my house.”

The company I work for is taking a hybrid approach. I think that is a fair compromise. As RTO (Return to Office) replaces WFH, here are some reasons why you should want to go back.

1. Chances to build relationships.  

Even when we were in the office full time, I had coworkers in other countries. When I traveled and met them face-to-face, our relationship changed for the better. Every. Single. Time.

2. Opportunities for mentoring.

I went into the office last week and had a (gasp) elevator conversation with a sales manager. He said mentoring and leading his team members is 100% more effective in person, stating that it's much easier to listen to their concerns and coach them face-to-face. If you’re looking for career growth, it’s easier to find and establish a relationship with a mentor while you are in the office.

3. Improved mental health. 

There are countless articles, including this one, which cite research studies that show many WFH people suffer from loneliness and isolation, anxiety, stress, and depression. We are social beings, even us introverts. 

4. Clearer work boundaries. 

These lines have been blurred for a while with easy access to email on smartphones, but with workspace setups at home, the expectation for essentially 24/7 access has grown. Jump on a 6:00 a.m. call to accommodate a team or customer in Europe and next thing you know, it’s 6:00 p.m. and you are still in your pajamas.

5. Increased focus.

I’ve had the opportunity lately to have actual, in-office meetings and I have to say - it is nice to have a meeting where there aren’t kids running around, dogs barking, birds singing, doorbells ringing, leaf blowers blowing, and the other myriad of distractions. People are also not turning off their video and multi-tasking, so you don’t have to repeat questions and information because people are not fully engaged in the meeting.

6. Visibility. 

Like it or not, there are still many, many managers out there who spend their days imagining how you are at home playing with your kids or binge-watching the latest Netflix series no matter how available you are online. Seeing you at your desk reassures them that you are a real person doing real work.

It has been way too easy for people to disappear online. If someone doesn’t respond to your emails or chat messages, you really don’t have many options beyond continuing to message them. In the office you have the option of casually walking by someone’s desk and saying, “Oh hey! You ARE in the office. About those 5 emails, I’ve sent you…”

For me, it’s like working out. I dread it, but I know it’s good for me. When I do it - I feel much better afterward and wonder why I don’t do it more often. If your company leaders have made the business decision to request people RTO, even part-time, give yourself a chance to get used to the new norm. You might even find that it benefits you in the end.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Caroline Juszczak is a Staff Technical Program Manager at an IT software company and equally enjoys the easy commute to her home office, and the opportunity to meet face-to-face with co-workers.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for transitioning back to the office? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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