Since the being of the COVID-19 quarantine here in the US, I’ve seen numerous posts about people working from home. There are suggestions on how to manage family interruptions, leverage technology and stay focused. Some folks have expressed that they are unhappy working from home and can’t wait until things get back to normal. I’ve read posts about unhappiness, depression and feeling trapped because they are working from home. They miss the face to face time, the hallway conversations and the freedom to wonder about and talk to people. They miss handshakes, hugs, team gatherings and group lunches. For these folks, an energy source has been removed. Being around people in the workplace provides a connectedness that gives them energy and makes them feel better. But that’s not true for everyone. For some being around others, especially in the workplace, can be draining and downright exhausting. Working from home gives them energy and increases their happiness. That human interaction in the workplace that some crave actually feels daunting and misaligned for others.
So as some of you celebrate returning to the office (aka normal), understand that there are some who will be grieving the loss of working from home. I encourage you to look beyond yourself in these coming days. Embrace the differences in one another and respect them. Extrovert, introvert or anywhere in between – we all have value.