The Hybrid Office

April 26, 2022

By Fernanda Lazzaro
LAS Customer Service Representative

The AMO/LAS office has been off-limits since March 2020 due to the pandemic. As with most businesses, our team was equipped with laptops and other gadgets that have made it possible to function and work from home for nearly two years. As restrictions eased, most of us returned to the office, adopting a hybrid model. In our case, we work two set days in the office and three at home. Now that we’ve experienced this work schedule for one month, I was asked to get the opinions of our fellow co-workers and write a blog about it. 

So, how does it really feel to be back in the office after all this time cooped up in our homes? The following is an accumulation of the pros and cons to which the LAS staff contributed.

The positive points of returning to the office are:

  1. Peer-to-peer: We can finally see our co-workers and enjoy face-to-face socializing! Albeit we must wear our masks, but it’s still nice to have that personal interaction. 
  2. Efficiency: Even though we're capable working from home, most of us have virtual fatigue. Being in the office saves us the back-and-forth email or Teams chat as we can easily visit our colleague and get an answer instantly. 
  3. Groundhog Day: Being in the same space day in and out can feel unmotivating and lethargic. Breaking up your mundane routine can invigorate and can even make coming home at the end of the day that much sweeter.
  4. No interruptions: As entertaining as pets and children can be to the bystander, it can be stressful to the participant. At least our in-office meetings, even if still virtual, won’t be interrupted with a game offlannel and animal slippers catch.
  5. Fresh air: It becomes too easy to get comfortable and never leave our homes. Commuting to the office forces us to move our bodies and get some fresh air.
  6. “You’re on mute”: Pretty self-explanatory. We’ve all been there. 
  7. No more pajamas: We can finally wear an entire ensemble, from head to toe, that doesn’t include any flannel or animal slippers.
  8. Snack control: Working from home automatically puts us too close to the kitchen. Being in the office gives us a semblance of self-control. So, lack of movement and extra snacking is a mathematical equation for negative point #4 below.

The negative points of returning to the office are:

  1. Commute: It’s easy to walk from your bedroom to your home office in mere minutes. Therefore, the commute makes it on the con list; it adds time and expenses to your day. 
  2. Less time with family: Even though children have returned to school, working from home still makes it feasible to spend more time with the family because the commute doesn’t get in the way.
  3. No more pajamas: We have to wear an entire ensemble, from head to toe, that doesn’t include any flannel or animal slippers.
  4. New wardrobe: Due to the proximity of our home office to the kitchen and its stocked shelves, this might contribute to the ill-fitting of our office casual clothing. Also, being away for two years may have dated our fashion, so there’s another expense. 

You might have your own pros and cons to add to the list. This new hybrid model seems to be more conducive to today’s lifestyle. It makes me wonder if we would have adopted this flexibility had the pandemic not occurred. I guess there is always a bright side!

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