Things are slowly getting better. Aren’t they?
People are getting vaccinated, following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and the job market is also improving. Life is coming back to normal though with some memories that will remain with us for a long time. Moving forward, we have realized that one can work from anywhere and anytime if they want to or have to (though this principle does not apply to all industries). Still, there were some good things about working from the office that I miss the most and I feel those things have benefitted me and others in many ways. So, let’s discuss what things I’m talking about.
- Focus – While I have a separate room for my office work, not all have enough space for this set-up. But while working in that room, away from all the distractions, I still lose my focus at times, because somebody has ringed the bell and now I have to open the door because my room is nearest to the main door. You can’t fight with your Mom on the same because apparently she is doing all the household chores and you can’t even OPEN THE DOOR? This is not a big issue to cry about, but you lose focus due to such small things. I wish I had my cabin where I was being served tea on time and didn’t have to open the door for anyone.
- Non- Verbal Cues – Being in the field of psychology for so long, I have a habit of focusing on people’s non-verbal behaviour and body language. And, in video-conferencing sessions, I don’t get enough of that information that is essential for the understanding and collaboration among team members. Losing such an important piece of information while interacting with others affect the work.
- Face-To-Face Interaction –I love meeting people and talking to them. But these emails, phone calls and video calls do not satisfy my need for face-to-face interaction. Also, work-related decisions get affected due to not being made in real-time.
- Brainstorming Sessions – I loved those brainstorming sessions that included everyone from the team and other departments. Sitting in the conference room, thinking hard and making sense out of your ideas and then sharing them with others, noting them down on the whiteboard, selecting the most appropriate ones and Voila! You have a plan of action with the teams’ effort. I don’t feel the same enthusiasm while having those sessions online, because of network issues or unavailability of some due to flexible work timings it doesn’t give the same boost of energy.
- Discipline – I love doing things on time. Working on a flexible schedule is not at all bad especially when you are working from home because you never know when the doorbell rings and you lose your focus. But I like when things are in order, and when I finish my work on time, I feel efficient and free. I can use those non-working hours for some other activities which I love to do like reading or painting etc. But due to this flexible schedule, even if you finish your work in the stipulated time, you have to wait for others because you can’t make all the decisions on your own and that other person may not be present at that time. In the office, you can contact anyone during office hours and because they’ll be available there, the decisions on the next step can be made at that time. This makes me miss the office environment more.
I am not at all against the work from home culture and I do not want to force anyone to agree with me. These are my personal opinions and preferences. I know, things aren’t good due to the pandemic and we must ensure that all the people are vaccinated before we make any decision to open the workplaces for the safety of the employees and the general public.