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Opinion: Working From Home Is Overrated

27 May, 2020 Jessica Patterson Fluid Culture

Two months of working from home has felt like a lifetime. At least for me.

 

As we enter our third month of social distance protocol at Fluid, I can’t help but feel grateful for my employment and the opportunity to work for our clients from the comfort and safety of my home. I also can’t help but acknowledge my increasing desire to return to our office space and resume the blissful experience of an in-person, in-office workday.

 

Prior to the age of quarantine and social distancing, I regarded working from home as the pinnacle of freedom and autonomy for an employee. I viewed it as an aspirational blend of work/life balance, only awarded to those with the utmost trust from their employer. Need that extra hour of sleep in the morning? You got it. Need to throw in a load of laundry between client calls? Can do. Want to call your mom while you update a spreadsheet? Sure! My desire for work from home privileges was fueled by the age-old notion that “there just aren’t enough hours in the day.” Yet here I am, living the work from home life, wanting nothing more than to return to an office space every day.

 

Over the last two months, I have become painfully aware that there truly is no substitute for an in-person work environment. Having the opportunity to communicate with a co-worker face to face rather than over a Zoom call with spotty Internet connection is a gift. Being able to sit down in a room and collaborate with your peers rather than using Google docs and a group text is nothing short of a small miracle. And even the simple act of leaving your home for eight hours a day and returning again when the workday is done is a privilege so overlooked that it was not until I lost it that I began craving it.

 

While it has been a blessing to have a job that allows me the flexibility of remote work when necessary, I have grown to value the in-person, in-office work environment so much more during these past two months. The perceived value I once saw in working from home has quickly faded, and I am very excited to return to working at the Fluid office with my team when it is safe to do so. Sure, the extended sleep hours have been nice and the ability to browse my kitchen for snacks all day long has been cool (and simultaneously horrible). But I miss the experience of waking up every morning with somewhere to be and people to see. I miss collaborating with the agency and our clients and feeling the sense of community that comes along with it. And I miss wearing my shoes. Oh do I miss my shoes.

 

I hope everyone continues to physically distance and take care of themselves and others during this unprecedented time in our history. While I am in no rush to resume “business as usual” and threaten the progress we have made towards flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases, I do look forward to the day that it is safe to return to our office as a Fluid family. I will never again take for granted the opportunity we have to gather, connect, collaborate and share as professionals, friends and human beings.

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