Upsides of the Zoom-centric worklife.
Posted April 13, 2021 | Reviewed by Abigail Fagan
Of course, many people, especially extroverts, would rather go into the office. It’s easier to get questions answered and to say hi to and take breaks with coworkers. Plus, some people like getting out of their home, which can be noisier and more stressful than the office. Some young people have told me that they feel more grown-up getting dressed up and going into a nice office.
But even if the pandemic subsides, many people will continue to work remotely at least part of the time. So it might be comforting to recount the Zoom-centric worklife’s advantages.
Look better. If you’re in the office, you can’t curate your looks—all is bared, well not all . But at home, you can position the webcam to frame your best look. And if your room’s lighting isn’t optimal, a small ring light can solve the problem. (Tip: Look just above the webcam lens: You’ll look a little more confident.) Zoom, WebEx, and other platforms let you choose an attractive background, even upload your own. Yet if you’d like to hide for a while, it’s now often acceptable to turn off your video. In the office, it's not as easy to hide.
You avoid the commute. You avoid what, pre-COVID, was the increasingly onerous commute time and cost.
Curate coworkers. At home, it’s easier to avoid coworkers you don’t like, yet you still can connect with those you do.
Flexibility. Work at home and it’s usually easier to get to take a long lunch, power nap, or even midday hour to watch TV, play with or tutor your kid, go shopping, play video games, connect with a friend, whatever. You’re there for the repairperson.
At the office, you may spend your break staring at a bulletin board decorated with the latest employer and government rules, whereas at home, you could, for example, take a walk or even a bubble bath.
Your own kitchen and bathroom. Work at home and your kitchen is just steps away, so you can make the lunch you really want rather than that brown bagger. You might even get a head start on dinner. And few people prefer using a communal bathroom. It’s comfier to be in your own.
Reduced need for child care. True, you may need someone to mind your demanding child while you’re working, but work-at-home people probably spend less money on child care.
The takeaway. Even if you’d welcome a return to the workplace, you just might feel at least a twinge of nostalgia for when you could work in your slippers.
I read this aloud on YouTube.