Sorry, forecasters. Your predictions are wrong. There will be no widespread, lasting total work-from-home revolution. Things are changing at warp speed. This whole, “people don’t want to leave their homes, so let’s end our leases!” is a flawed decision, despite past polling results that indicated otherwise. What you’ve seen and heard has already become part of history. Employers would be wise to heed the 11 reasons there will be a revival of in-person working environments:
Contrast. Just as sweet is cloying without sour, existing solely in the land of home is a flat note. It gets old, stale. Dull.
Camaraderie. Hanging out with your pets (if you have them) is lovely, but humans need humans to survive and thrive. It’s evolutionary science. We wouldn’t be here now without it.
Inspiration. Working alongside a diverse group of colleagues from the vast span of departments is motivating. So is being among different people in a variety of occupations.
Lunch. Check out the new cafe, go to your old standby where they know your favorite sandwich, heat up last night’s leftovers in the break room microwave…it’s time for lunch. Lunch is good.
Drinks. Post-work beverages may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for many drinks at the local is an invaluable activity. It’s an opportunity to decompress after a challenging day with people who can relate, celebrate someone who justly earned a promotion (and kvetch about someone who didn’t deserve it.)
Relationships. Friendships and romances are developed and solidified at places of work. Let’s face it, you can’t exchange a proper wisecrack or be intoxicated by the new hire’s drifting cologne though a screen.
Alliances. Have you heard what's happening in operations? Appalling; we need to stop this - let’s get together and discuss. Such exchanges are conduits to improved workplaces.
Advancement. It’s easy to get lost online, in those little boxes where your face appears and disappears during meetings. Being in the physical presence of people who have the ability to help you along your career path is important.
Clothes. Getting dressed for work signifies seriousness. It can be your chance to express yourself, and it’s interesting to see what others are wearing. Love the shoes, Phil.
Health. Mental, physical, and personal wellbeing is enhanced by the very act of leaving and returning. It forces you to move which stimulates healthy emotions and sparks ideas.
Perks. Companies that provide enjoyable, energizing work environments will attract and keep the best employees. Those that don’t will become less competitive.
Goodbye solitary home-based offices. You had your year, now move aside. It’s time to make a pot of communal coffee and get to work.