Justin Lerner

A Positive Change: Returning to the Office

We all remember the feeling when we received notice that offices would be closing and that we’d all be taking our work home with us. We remember the anxiety of adjusting to this new reality. It was only supposed to be for two weeks! In hindsight, thinking about the anxiety that working from home for two weeks caused is almost a laughing matter, pandemic aside.

Over the course of two years, we adjusted. We carved out spaces in our homes and started new routines throughout the day. Zoom and Teams meetings were as second nature as booking a conference room. All this helped make working from home much more manageable than our pre-2020 selves might have thought it would be.

And now, there’s that anxious feeling again. Why are we suddenly feeling the same way we felt two years ago when we were all told to go home? The simplest answer, for me anyway, is because we’ve adjusted. And now we are being asked to do it again. Adjust. This time though, I’m reminding myself that the anxiety of adjusting might be misplaced. Much like riding a bike, even though it might feel like forever, once you start pedaling again, it’s not long before you forget you ever stopped in the first place.

With that perspective, it’s easy to start seeing all the positives that come with heading back into the office. Teams chats or Zoom meetings can never replace in-person conversations. Workloads and meetings make it hard to catch up with colleagues that you don’t work with on a regular basis. It’s going to be nice to run into a colleague you haven’t chatted with in a few days while grabbing a cup of coffee. When you have a question about a requirement, it’ll be great to just have a quick chat at the cubicle, instead of having to “hop on a Teams call.”

We adjusted to working from home, and we’ll adjust to being back in the office. But what is undeniable here is the importance of the relationships we have with our colleagues. Much like seeing loved ones and friends over FaceTime doesn’t replace in-person interactions, Zoom calls don’t replace the camaraderie that is developed in the office with your colleagues. Impromptu meetings over a cup of coffee, catching up with someone who just got back from vacation, brainstorming ideas together in a conference room are what ultimately has me excited to go back to the office. It’ll be nice to get back to the old normal again and with our brand new headquarters opening with so many cool features, it makes it even more exciting.