Before COVID-19 the way we work have been defined by predictable patterns involving who is doing the work, where it occurs and when it happens. And, while technological advancements, have impacted some of these norms, the pandemic upended it altogether and, accelerated the arrival of new ways of working. Many employees who initially felt anxiety about working from home, have come to embrace it after 15 months of lockdown.
Today, as many employers start to unveil their post-pandemic plans for a return-to the office, they are getting pushback from some employees, who are keen to retain their work from home privileges. But is this indicative of a more widespread resistance among workers who do not want to revert to pre-pandemic patterns or is it something else? It is possible, that employees, after working remotely for so many months, feel they can be productive at home – and that the reasons their employers want them back in-office does not add up.
While there are several factors at play, as to why, some employees, are pushing back about returning to the office — below are 3 reasons for the possible hesitancy by some workers.
- Lockdown fatigue is real- COVID-19 has been debilitating for all of us and we’re tired of lockdowns. The constant anxiety of living and working through a pandemic has left many of us feeling low in energy, and the thought of driving and working in an office alongside others-in and of itself, is exhausting.
- Office work doesn’t allow for a healthy work-life-balance-Lockdown has been isolating and although we have craved the company of coworkers, we have also been able to separate work and leisure time. We have been able to exercise, read and spend time with our loved ones without feeling guilty because we were late getting home for dinner, after the commute from the office.
- Going back to pre-pandemic work is the cause of our anxiety- In addition to wearing face masks, we would be following social distancing guidelines and staring at stickers telling us how to behave correctly and politely, while on the subway or standing in a crowded elevator. This is an added layer of anxiety to an already stressful time, that not everyone is looking forward to.
Bottomline: It’s still early to say what the post-pandemic work environment will look like, and not all employers are scheduling employees back to the office. In fact, some are doing it in stages, while others are delaying a return to the office for some staff. Many employers are still being lenient with policies as the virus lingers, vaccinations continue to roll out and childcare situations remain erratic.
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