We’re hurtling into the new normal with the recent shift to Alert Level 1. If things keep up, we can probably expect a guilt-free reunion with friends and family for the year-end holidays. However, loose restrictions also mean offices might require their employees to report to the offices soon. That’s the end of the work-from-home era for many. While it’s true that different jobs have different experiences (some can thrive on remote working setups while some can’t), there are quite a few valid arguments for letting workers stay at home instead of going back to the office. Here are just a few of them.
Working from home has worked well (for some)
For many employees, working from home has been efficient. It may not be as comfortable as air-conditioned offices and quiet cubicles, but by now we’ve adapted and managed to survive. Everyone even realized that if your work is mostly done within the confines of your office desk, you could probably do it at home too. Of course, not all kinds of work will thrive under this scheme (chefs can’t exactly do remote work) but a large part of the working class will agree that WFH has made life a little bit better.
There will be little time for the family and pets (again!)
WFH has given us the privilege to spend more time with our families while juggling work at the same time. For parents with little kids, this is a game-changer. Plus, offices don’t have our therapy animals a.k.a. furbabies which are a huge part of destressing from an exhausting day.
Skyrocketing gas prices
Those who own a car know the weekly dread about gas prices going up. It happens almost every week now. You can almost hear every driver groan from the weight of those extra pesos. On top of other car maintenance fees, parking fees, and being stuck in horrible traffic for hours on end, the thought of going outside is enough to make a grown man cry. Why not try public transportation, you ask? Well…
Transportation is still a nightmare
Fuel talk aside, the new normal for public transportation means full capacity. And full capacity means back to being packed like sardines inside the MRT and LRT or brushing butts with everyone standing in the bus aisle. It’s a nightmare! Add that to the fact that traffic takes up all your time, working from home is a relief. Imagine if you spend 1.5 hours on the road going to work and another 1.5 hours going home. Do the math and that’s 15 hours a week you lose!
There’s still a pandemic
ICYMI, the daily cases might’ve gone down to three digits but the active cases are very much still in the five-digit zone. That’s enough proof that COVID-19 is still going around and any mistake — large gatherings, enclosed spaces, someone without a mask coughing — might bring back another wave of infections. And the reality is most offices don’t have proper ventilation. The typical office is an enclosed space, fully airconditioned (i.e. recirculating the same air), and the cubicles are right next to each other. We don’t know about you, but after two years of social distancing, just the though of it gives us the heebie-jeebies
TBH, breaks at home can be used for chores
Employees working from home have more flexibility with their breaktimes, depending on the nature of their work. They could load the washing machine while doing a task, prepare a quick breakfast for the family, vacuum the house while on that 15-minute break, or even hit the grocery store as soon as they log off work. And then during the weekends, they can be free as a bird. Going back to the office means pushing all those chores on the weekends, taking up precious time from Netflix and chill parties.
Spending more on food
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when you’re at the office, you mostly spend lunches out with officemates. And that means spending money. Even if you say you’re just going to tuck into your packed lunch, if you’re choosing between scrambled egg with rice versus smoked barbecue ribs, we know who’s going to win. Don’t even get us started on the after-hours soirees or bar hopping. What’s that? You’re planning on skipping all that? Be strong, soldier.
Back to office wardrobe
After two years of wearing sweats and pambahay (or at least half of it during meetings), it would be a nice change to be in office wear again. That’s code for “look like a decent human being.” But let’s be honest here, dressing up is a chore now. If your company doesn’t care that you wear sweats to work every day, that’s cool. But most companies still have a dress code. That might not be much of a problem if your office wardrobe is still good after being buried in your closet for two years, but many of us have outgrown our pre-pandemic clothes.
These 8 points being said, there’s probably are an equal number of reasons why employees would want to yell “Open the offices!” again. This could include the structure and routine that comes with the office setting. It could also be missing interacting with colleagues and better collaboration. Or maybe they just want to make their home feel like a refuge from work again.
Maybe we just want to have a choice in the matter.