Is the WFH Bubble About to Burst?

Work from home — it’s been the siren call of gig workers, a work/life perk for tech sector workers, and a novelty for so many of the rest of us early this year. And the bloom is, apparently, off the rose.

“The pandemic has reaffirmed a collective solace, purpose and permission to transform the everyday moments we may have taken for granted, into even more meaningful experiences,” writes Aaron Kwittken in The Drum. “Still, while the benefits of working from home are many, it can’t be the end-all. Because, in many ways, this moment has also re-affirmed the need to be in the office — at least part of the time.”

Kwittken advocates for a hybrid approach to the workplace as we emerge from our pandemic-forced cocoons. He’s been working from home exclusively since March and sees a lot of positives — more sleep, fewer interruptions, spending more time with his family, overall a nice break in his routine.

Yet it can’t last forever, he believes, saying, “the only real winners benefiting from an indefinite work-at-home (WAH) world are the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Zoom, Slack, our beloved pets and divorce attorneys.”

He feels job performance is intricately tied to collaboration and engagement, where “[s]pontaneity, work-station fly-bys and impromptu huddles all lead to greater levels of creativity and success for us and our clients.”

And you just can’t replicate that face-to-face experience over Zoom; the conversation just doesn’t follow the same and the tactile feedback isn’t as powerful. While flexibility certainly has its place, and it’s been eyeopening getting a peek inside our coworker’s personal lives (whether we wanted to or not), Kwittken says it’s time to move forward.

“I’m a huge believer in flexible working and am excited to see more of it in our industry, post-pandemic,” he writes. “Doing so will improve access to a wider, non-geo contingent talent pool and allow staff to better manage work/family/life needs. Now that we know the outer limits of both WAH and working in the office, I think we can all agree that there’s a happy medium to be pursued. The office is calling!”

What do you think?