!Emad Barsoum writes: Take me back to the office
Almost two years, and many people are still working from home since the government adopted such approach after the outbreak of the pandemic. Two years feel like forever to many people in the workforce, especially the jobs that are performed from behind a desk.
In the beginning, everyone was pleased to work from home. They don’t have to wake up early to commute, no rush hours to and back from the office. They are not required to put on the workplace attire, and many other habits that people thought inconvenient at that time, they are no longer obliged to follow it.
After a long time at home, only few have realized that it is time to go back to the office! Those with in-depth thinking realized that working from home does more harm than good when it came to their personal and social interactions. They felt the ramifications of the stay-at-home decision, which was taken without a definite end. Was it born in the absence of any studies to inform us about the social, economic, and human shortcomings, or were there undisclosed downsides to the order?
Although modern communications technology has extensively facilitated the work-from-home principle, social and economic analysts and experts understand very well that too much technology could be our worst social enemy, if misused or overused.
People who have worked from home for a long time are becoming less socially connected. They are confined in small spaces, behind screens in their pajamas. They have lost interest in getting dressed nicely or wearing their fine clothes, accessories, or jewelleries, which is a very serious sign about losing interest in life, and ultimately may lead to depression and anxiety. Those living alone are even more affected by further solitude, being deprived of meeting their coworkers or even strangers in the means of transportation or a small takeaway restaurant during lunch hour.
Family relations have been negatively affected. When the same family members are spending long hours together, without a break or a time to interact with other friends or colleagues, then more intolerance is created between them.
One friend expressed to me how frustrated it is for him to stay home while all three other family members are working from home. Each family member occupies the living areas, basement, or kitchen, so no place to stay except the bedroom as a prisoner. He cannot turn on TV or play music because his family members are attending online meetings. Consequently, a man’s home, which used to be his castle, now became his concentration camp.
On the other side, those who work from home are more exposed to weight gain and other health issues due to less activities made in the confined space, the easy access of food all time and the tendency to sit at home creates more laziness.
It was also realized that the hours spent working from home are much longer than working from the office. Even more, business owners and higher management tend to be more demanding and ruthless to their employees’ personal life by having them working from home.
The economic and business conduct impacts are even more severe, and they have a more profound negative impact by working from home. We will discuss it thoroughly in the forthcoming article.
We are celebrating this time issue number 200 of Good News Journal. I want to seize the opportunity to congratulate the editors and all the workers and the writers on 200 successful, rich, and professional issues of modern journalism—way to go, team.