The hidden costs of working from home

👨‍🎓 Ah, remember those vibrant days at school or university?

Those unexpected lunch meetings, spontaneous coffee or tea breaks and those moments when ideas just clicked. Sometimes even sparking a collaborative project. All while sharing bits and pieces of our personal journeys.

For some of us, those days feel like a lifetime ago. But for others, that kind of dynamic social buzz has found a new home in the workplace.

Although, let’s face it, most offices have their downsides. Which probably explains why so many of us have been quick to embrace working from home.


The comfortable solitude of the home office

The home office for sure has its very own advantages:

  • No more commuting worries
  • Say goodbye to the daily outfit puzzle
  • Keeping food preparation simple and sweet

This change has undoubtedly enabled many of us to create a more personal and therefore more peaceful life in accordance with our own biorhythms.

But what happens when we trade the hustle and bustle of the office for the peace and quiet of our home office for longer:

  • What are the implications for your learning & creativity?
  • Is your family able to accept your working hours?
  • Do you feel inspired to work in teams?

How do we capture the magic of those unplanned, unscripted moments that used to enrich our working days, sparking new ideas and creating a hands-on mentality towards action?

I mean, office life wasn’t my cup of tea either, but I can’t help but miss the occasional surprise of real, human connection and interaction. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons I chose portrait photography as a career.

artist gallery home studio

The price we pay for our comfort of working at home

The move to remote working can sometimes leave us adrift in a sea of isolation, thinking we need more social media or online classes to break down the walls around us.

And truth be told, the comforts of home come with their own set of trade-offs:

  • Missing out on those spontaneous, face-to-face moments with new people
  • Stuck in an echo chamber of the same old digital feeds
  • Longing for the chance to flex our leadership muscles in real time

After all, isn’t work about collaboration and creating value with others?

Is there an alternative to the office?

But here’s the kicker – I think we’re on the cusp of a change.

The traditional office is making a comeback, and from what I can see it won’t be as the soul-sucking space some of us may remember, but as

  • A hub of creativity & wellbeing
  • A place to foster connections
  • A workshop for bringing ideas to life

I don’t really think that deep work is best done in an office, but rather on a walk, after a workout, or even in the middle of the night when inspiration strikes and nobody dares to interrupt.

This leads me to question the effectiveness of the traditional 9 to 5 model for anyone not directly involved in service or mechanical tasks.

In reimagining the future of the workplace, employers could look to create environments that cater not only to professional needs, but also to personal wellbeing, which ultimately leads to higher productivity.