It's been ~2.5 years since COVID locked us down and the office closed. Here are the things I think we have lost since then:
- Small talk/watercooler talk – No more hanging out with co-workers or being able to grab a beer or bite after work.
- Culture & Inclusion – I always believed that culture lived a lot outside of work. Culture isn't lost, it's just changed for remote settings. However, most companies haven't figured it out yet.
- Finding a partner – Gaining friends from work is impossible. No more impromptu happy hours. I believe that our chances of finding a partner also decrease, whether it be a colleague or a colleague's friend. Dating apps will have to fill in the gap here and we know how that goes.
- Productivity – I'll be the contrarian here. Distractions are everywhere around you at home. At least in the office, distractions can also be limited to knowing your colleagues, collaboration, learning, etc. It's a lot harder to watch YouTube at your desk in the office.
- Mentorship/apprenticeship – Younger professionals must force meetings with more senior pros to learn, making the transfer of knowledge slow to a halt.
Things we've gained:
- Casual work & better hours – it's a lot easier to sign in and out of work on time.
- Better diversity across companies – you can be more flexible when your office isn't a central location.
- Family time – spend more time with your significant others and children. I personally never understood how you could raise children if both parents were working in the office.
On another note, hybrid doesn't really work either unless everyone agrees to it and selectively chooses a day to come in. Otherwise, you're just by yourself again, just remotely working in the office.
I'm guilty as charged, I do miss the office just a little bit, especially working in NYC.