In the last few years, we have all taken part in a giant social experiment. The lines between home and work blurred, and then disappeared, as we adapted to working from home during the pandemic. Since the early 80’s there has been a movement towards achieving work-life balance and more recently this has shifted to work-life integration – a merging of the two. During Covid, work-life and home-life were put in the blender and mixed, it was impossible to see the shape of each.
There are a great many advantages to working from home. The top three are saving time and money, no distractions and better productivity, and more time with your family – and of course, wearing comfortable clothes and slippers all day! But there is also a cost.
There is a risk of overworking, burnout, isolation, depression, and a sense of disconnection. We are human and we rely on cooperation to keep us motivated, creative, and generating ideas. We also enjoy the chance encounters, unplanned conversations, sharing stories, face-to-face chats, bonding over success (or failures), and sharing a cup of coffee with a friend and work colleague. These experiences are important. They reduce stress and lead to more opportunities, learning, and increased knowledge.
This is important to every member of the team but is perhaps of the greatest importance to people just starting out in their careers.
Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.
Working together encourages creativity. The flow of information, each team member playing to their strengths and skills, can create solutions that are as innovative as they are practical. This is much harder to do on your own or over a video conference.
2. Personal Growth
Being part of a team encourages growth and learning. We learn from our colleagues’ different experiences, life stories, and knowledge. We also learn from their mistakes. Life is all about learning and developing and this is much harder to achieve at home, in isolation.
3. Feeling of belonging
Working on your own can be lonely and isolating. There is a danger of becoming increasingly removed from society and becoming anxious about reintegrating with others in the post-pandemic world. We crave other people – it is hardwired into our psyche. Our colleagues lift us when we are down, motivate us, and help us come up with solutions and together we connect over shared goals and projects.
4. Stress buster
Studies have shown that when we work from home, we work much longer hours. In the UK it was reported that workers increased their working week by almost 25%. Often not leaving their computer screens till after 8 at night. Lunch breaks got shorter and there was no differentiation between work and home. This left some struggling with depression, anxiety, and exhaustion. The rhythms of going to work, sharing ideas, working together, and then at the end of the day leaving, allow us to separate our work selves from our home selves.
5. Catch ups, Friday fun, water cooler moments
Work is not just about targets, deadlines, and projects. It is also about sharing personal stories, jokes, observations, and being part of other people’s lives. These interactions are not only pleasant and fulfilling they also foster positive emotions such as empathy, compassion, trust, and respect. When we trust, value, and respect each other we tend to be more collaborative, positive and experience better mental health. When we are enjoying healthy, positive social relationships we are happier.
6. Harbour Grounds Giveaways and events
Being back in the office means that you can be a part of our awesome events, giveaways and workshops. Make sure you sign up to our e-newsletter to be notified of everything we have coming up. Plus, check out these beautiful lunch break spots (all within a 10min walk of Harbour Grounds).