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Just because you can work from home, should you?

Working from home is the revolution that’s taken the world by storm.
Although its implementation is novel, its concept isn’t revolutionary at all. For years, purveyors of cloud business have been yelling into somewhat of a void – their assertions of the possibility of an entirely remote working world largely lost.

Those advocates for the working from home movement may now be sitting smug in their ‘I told you so’ euphoria – for we’ve now seen that the remote work idea works, because the cloud works, and those businesses now offering working from home products are reaping the benefits for upholding their beliefs.

But even though it works, the movement – although progressive – may have just helped uncover a myriad of social issues that could turn out to be very problematic for global business in the long run.

So, although working from home can be done with little disruption to business, should we be an entirely remote working society?

Remote works… technically

So, yes, it does work… technically. And by that we actually mean technologically. Due to the hyper-connectedness of our world, our ‘always on’ state, the affordability of Wi-Fi, and the constant advancements of devices and phones, we are a society perfectly poised to be working from home.

As previously stated, it’s been a notion on the minds and lips of many in the tech space – why have a brick and mortar office and suffer the financial demands of such when you can get your employees to do everything they need to do from home?

Collaboration tools like Click Up, Trello and Monday provide detailed dashboards through which every single aspect of a project can be managed, with stakeholders simply dipping in and out as they finish deliverables. Conferencing tools like Google Meet, Zoom and Teams provide functionality that ensures communication with remote working employees at the click of a mouse.

There may be a problem that runs deeper than infrastructure

So yes, working from home, works.

But the question, we now see, must no longer be ‘will it work?’

The question is now, ‘should we be working in isolation?’

And this is because, it’s not about technology and infrastructure – we have that down. It’s about people, our fundamental need for human connection and collaboration, and our susceptibility to the mental instability caused by extreme isolation.

At the start of the stay at home directive, a collective breath was held as we all went about setting up our home offices. We wanted to see how it would play out. We wanted to see how productive we’d be. And we wanted to find out if the notion would turn out to be as attractive in execution. The general consensus is that is hasn’t, and only because the human condition is more complicated than the tech that allows us to work remotely.

We need to interact in stages. We need connection with others. We need to separate work from home.

It boils down to balance

Lockdown has eased, and in each stage that it did, collective sighs were heard, and mass migrations began in earnest – at each diminishing lockdown stage – toward office parks and metro areas.

People couldn’t wait to get back to the social connection they’d been missing. We may collectively have realised our mettle in a working from home state – and so people are getting back out there, and offices are filling up.

But there’s a deep-seated issue with this, too. Our world may never be able to go back to what we knew it to be, because there’s one heavy fact many aren’t keeping top of mind: there’s still the matter of the pandemic. Even though protocols are in place, we’re versed on the wearing of masks, and we know how to sanitise, COVID-19 is still very much a sobering reality, and we cannot let our guard down – human lives depend on each of us doing our part.

Perhaps then, it boils down to balance. 

The balance of choice – let people back to the office but keep numbers low with a roster. Let people back periodically, so that infection is kept to a minimum through isolation. Or, look into temporary or shared office spaces, where a core contingent of employees can be rotated in an office space situation. 

The notion of balance here, is to give employees a chance to get back to a semblance of normality, to interact once again, to collaborate more, and to curb the darkness isolation can bring. It’ll mean a healthier workforce as we all try to navigate the work from home productivity conundrum.

At Giant Leap, we make office spaces better and safer, because even in a working from home society, we know the office is where you do your best work.

Click here to find out more about our award-winning office space solutions.