Working from home is the new cubicle farm. Businesses will embrace it for the same reasons they embraced cubicles. It looks like a way to foster better culture but is really about saving money. Working from home is a lot cheaper than corporate real estate and office fit outs. But there is a way to avoid the mistakes of the past.
The headline screams “Huge cost of Aussies working from home”. The opening paragraph tells us “Australians will be urged to get back to work at the office”. The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped society so quickly that many of us are still adjusting. And while there’s been a huge focus on the health issues (and rightly so) and now a shift towards economic recovery, it seems to be forgotten that the last couple of months have been extremely jarring. Just as we are getting used to life in isolation, we’re being asked to change again.
I’ve spent over a decade working from home. I stopped calling it ‘working from home’ a long time ago. For me, it’s just work. But for millions of workers, this is the first time they’ve had to commit to spending weeks on end in their home office. And many CFOs and other senior company leasers are seeing this moment of ‘reset’ as an opportunity to slash rental costs. But this period isn’t the time to make those decisions.
The ‘new normal‘ thrust upon us as a result of the coronavirus pandemic means working from home has moved from a novelty or privilege to the normal way of doing business. And that’s meant many people have rushed to convert spare rooms and corner nooks into home offices. A Facebook group I’m a member of has been sharing home office set ups and I thought I’d go into a little more detail about my set up. Although I have it in a room, most of it can fit comfortably into a small nook.