Many of us have been working from home a lot longer than we ever expected. While some may love remote work, not everyone does their best work at home. Here are four signs it’s time for you to return to the office.
Increased social isolation:
Working remotely entails fewer in-person interactions compared to working in an office. Instead of having normal conversations throughout the day, remote workers may only be in touch with coworkers and management once a week, or even once a month. When not around colleagues and other coworkers, remote workers can begin to feel isolated. No matter who you are, how much you make, or where you live, your day-to-day level of happiness largely correlates to how often you connect with other people. So, when working from home, you may start to feel lonely and in need of human interaction. This can cause those working remotely to eventually become lonely and even depressed.
Feeling less creative:
Working from home may cause a loss of creativity. When working in an office, innovation and creativity thrive by building on each other’s ideas. One of the best ways to spur creativity is through spontaneous meetings and discussions. You start a conversation with someone and all of a sudden you have all sorts of new ideas. These types of social interactions in the workplace are one of the best ways to spark innovation and grow creative solutions. In fact, working in small groups is where innovation and performance excel. These human interactions are so important for your growth and continued work goals. Working from home takes away so many opportunities for ideas and thoughts that are often brought on by office conversations. If you are feeling a decrease in creativity, innovation, or drive, it might be a sign it’s time to return to the office.
Feelings of FOMO:
It can happen anywhere, especially if you are a remote worker—Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). While working from home has its perks, if you are constantly worrying about being kept out of the loop or missing out on important conversations between other colleagues and the boss, then it may be time to transition back to an office setting. Increased anxiety can lead to later work hours from home, constant checking of emails, and calling your boss more than usual. This does not create a harmonious remote work environment. In fact, it may lead to other health issues.
A decreased attention span:
Have you noticed that your attention span is no longer what it used to be? Do you feel that you become easily distracted by “non-work” related matters? Studies have shown that without proper structure in place for a remote work environment, many people feel they start to lose focus on day-to-day tasks. This increasingly leads to shorter attention spans and can affect both work and personal life. Being in an office setting provides enough structure to maintain focus on work only, leaving the laundry, dishes, and television out of sight and out of mind until “5 o’clock.”