By Angela Copeland
Has your work changed as a result of the pandemic? If you have a corporate desk job, the answer may be no. While where you do your work has changed, the nature of your work has not. You are still focused on the same projects. You’re meeting with the same people. Work is moving ahead.
With that in mind, what would change if we all went back to the office tomorrow? We’d pack a bag with our laptop. We would put on more formal clothing. We would spend a lot of time in traffic. We would sit in our offices on Zoom calls with our same colleagues.
Think back to your pre-pandemic work life. If you were to group your day into categories, how much was genuinely spent in-person with your coworkers? For many people, it was very little.
Are we driving to work to sit by ourselves and to send email to each other? Are we sitting in a cubicle to video chat with our colleagues from across the building?
There are advantages to in-person work. For example, you may live in a small apartment. Or you might have children at home. In cases like these, an office can be beneficial.
But office buildings are expensive to build and maintain. Does your office building have one of those ping pong rooms? They’re created to get us talking to each other. I’ve seen many of those rooms, but I’ve never seen anyone play ping pong at work.
This pandemic is painful on many levels every day. But it is making us question why we’ve been doing things the way we are.
Why commute thirty minutes or an hour each way to sit at a desk to email the person in the next office? We can do that from anywhere.
Getting back to work would offer many perks on the mental health front. Would those perks be as crucial if everyday activities were open? For example, if you could participate in regular social activities, would it matter whether you went to an office?
If we let go of the office, what else would happen? Would our quality of life change? Would we spend less time commuting? What if we could move out of the crowded city to a home that was more suited for us? What if we had a little more time each day for our loved ones? Should we commute for Zoom meetings?
– Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.