By: Megan Eusey
I don’t know about you, but I have found myself yearning for the days of angrily ignoring my alarm and rolling over for an extra five minutes of sleep that will, undoubtedly, make me late to the office. But alas, those mornings seem years away. So in the meantime, is there a secret sauce to make this remote working mayhem less dreadful? A.K.A the new "WFH" normal (I think that is what the cool kids are calling "working from home" these days). Must I set aside my dreams of an in-office 9-5 experience? Perhaps I do.
For employers I think it is important to acknowledge that with today's technological advancements and innovations, there are days in which work-from-home can bleed into a post-COVID life. In my own experience, managing a team from home can be extremely difficult. Many individuals lack the innate ability to motivate themselves when Bridgerton (wink wink) is on in the background or when their dog is pawing at their feet. I can't blame them, though; I certainly find myself taking slightly longer to complete circadian tasks at home than I typically do when I am in the office. Additionally, I, like many of my peers, am a person who craves in-office banter and those trendy new idea sessions in which people can feed off of one another to curate an even better end product. With work from home, these meetings become redundant-- even boring-- and I often find myself doing everything in my power to end them as soon as possible so I can get out of the dreaded Zoom room. All of this being said, I think the future of work-life has the potential to thrive with a partial WFH structure.
I am a person who hates to half-ass the things that I do in my life, so the idea of "partial" anything is not my favorite. However, distance does make the heart grow fonder, right? A partial work-from-home structure will make the time spent in the office all the more enjoyable and special. Those in-office meetings will be way more exciting to attend and employees may come far more prepared than in a typical setting in which these meetings happen several times a week. While I write this, I am finding that I have somehow convinced myself that this potential new normal could be great... so a happy-medium it is?
Okay, the high was fun, but back to skepticism. Will company’s monitor my browser availability or closely observe me during Zoom with AI??? Because AI certainly FREAKS me out. I cannot lie, I do not know much about it, but the idea of little robots in my computer monitoring my eye-movement or surveilling my overall engagement is something that leads me to believe that the robots will take over the human race and rule the world (I have a flair for the dramatic-- can you tell?). That being said, companies and corporations will do whatever they see fit to ensure a successful and prolific day of work, impending robot takeover or not.
Much like a typical work setting, people are more than capable of wasting time or "multi-tasking" from home. So as work environments evolve, there will undoubtedly be shifts in technology to better serve the marketplace. As for me, I will continuously push in-office structure, but it seems that I am coming around to a more blended approach; only time will tell if that ideology sticks...compromise can be hard.