With the introduction of new and improved cloud computing technologies, droves of people have taken advantage of the ‘work anywhere’ mantra by working anywhere but the office.
And this is great for people that require a certain degree of flexibility around their work week, whether it’s to spend more time with their family or simply to kick their daily commute to the curb, but this isn’t why the majority of people are doing it.
According to a study published in the Academy of Management Discoveries, workers are opting to work from home because everyone else is doing it. That’s right, office workers are getting some pretty gnarly cases of FOMO.
But why should we come into the office when we don’t have to? What benefit will I ever get from having to listen to Mark from Accounts bitch about his depressing life every single day? The answer is human interaction.
And this is an incredibly important aspect of working life, as it’s these interactions (not necessarily Mark and his pessimism) that shape how we perceive our job and its importance.
When you work from home, it’s just you and maybe your dog, but it’s not likely to help you achieve self-actualisation within your work, is it?
Without the comradery of the office, work can quickly seem pointless, as having those around you “in the same boat”, so to speak, allows you to see the bigger picture. We persuade each other that what we do has a purpose, which all boils down to a sense of meaning, something that is often overlooked while you’re sitting at home in your undies.
So not only are you hurting your own career perceptions, but those who do go into the ghost-office too. When you think about it, it’s even worse for them. They have to go into a semi-empty office and suffer through the same sense of isolation while you only have to roll out of bed to the computer. AND they have to commute. How do you live with yourself?
I’m not saying that you can’t ever work from home, there are times when it’s completely warranted, the trick is to not make it a habit.
It turns out that it might even be stunting your career growth, with the most likely consequence being slow or stalled promotion.
At the end of the day, home-working probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so you can rest easy knowing that no one is going to pry you from your extra-comfy couch. But if I can impart any kind of advice on the matter, it’s to use it sparingly. Your sense of purpose and team mates will thank you for it!