I’ve worked from home for 16 years. Here’s why I think you should embrace a Hybrid work schedule.

Share this post!

I have worked from home for 16 years.  And here’s why I believe it’s worth your consideration to go back into the office…..at least part time.

I spent the first half of my career going into the office every single day.  Work began at 8am and I was expected to dress the part in a suit and heels!  

I’m so grateful work attire has evolved since then.

Looking back, I never really thought about an alternative.  We all went to the office.  It was the culture of the corporate world. It meant you had to get up early. You had some form of a commute, you took a lunch break and then you drove home at the end of the workday.  

And you did that 5 days a week.  

Somehow, parents figured out child care and school breaks.  We did our house cleaning on the weekends and grocery shopped on the way home to pick up dinner. Hobbies and social time all occurred outside of the M-F 8a-5p window.

Covid single handedly changed that.  

Overnight, we were all forced home. And we had to figure out how to work remotely with our colleagues, teammates, and bosses all doing the same. We also had to create a workspace in our house/apartment/condo. And we had to figure out how to do our jobs while also parenting our kids, pets and making time for our partners.  It was a weird and stressful time to say the least.  But we got through it.

Back in 2008, I took a leap of faith. I told my employer of 8 years that I was moving across the country to Atlanta.

I never considered requesting permission to work remotely. But I did have hopes they would allow me to stay on until they found my replacement. Thankfully, I had a boss that was a visionary.  He knew from personal experience that remote working was indeed possible.

So off I went….first as an experiment.  I’ll admit, it was a bumpy ride.  At first I was working 12 hour days to “prove” myself worthy of working from afar while also figuring out how to be my IT person, mail person, and assistant.  Even figuring out a phone solution was a challenge.  (Hello $800 mobile bill!).  I was so used to having everything I needed for work right there…copy machines, fax, supplies, etc.  The realization that I had to figure out new solutions for everything was a bit overwhelming.

So it was a big adjustment.  But eventually I figured it out and stayed with the company an additional 11 years as a remote employee.

Throughout that time and since, I’ve said I would never go back to an office….never.

Well….maybe never is a long time.

We can all agree that there are many, many reasons why remote working is superior. No commute which is a huge time saver. You also don’t have to spend time “getting ready” because there is essentially no dress code. And another big benefit is you can multi-task (laundry, start dinner, walk your dog, etc) all within the 8-5 workday.  

And I love all of that.

But here’s what we’re missing out on:  

  • friendships
  • team work, collaboration and innovation
  • a set schedule
  • dedicated time set aside to focus on just work
  • clear separation of work and personal time
  • a commute to allow you to decompress before you rejoin your partner, pet or family

As much as I have loved working from the comfort of my own space, I now realize how much I miss the relationships at work.  And I miss the hallway conversations.  The lunches at quaint cafes.  The walks outside. Looking back, I’ve made most of my adult friendships through the workplace.

Yes, working from home is comfortable, but I’ve found it really isn’t for my greatest good.  I need a solid schedule.  I need to have a commute once in a while as a place to decompress.  I need to be around other humans more often.  To have a hard and fast end time so that my work day and home life aren’t one combined thing. And a lunch break that is more than eating at my desk.  Overall, I’ve learned that I work more efficiently and feel more fulfilled when I can experience the office and home office each week.

That’s why I think a hybrid schedule is the best.  It affords the time to be comfortable at home and enjoy all of the benefits that come from that.  But it also builds in time with bosses and colleagues to drive innovation, team work, and gives you face-to-face time for your management to see you in action. And let’s face it, that’s important if you have hopes of being promoted.

But this doesn’t work well without the company coming half way to meet you. CEO’s and HR professionals really need to look at the culture and environment of the company.  What if you created an environment where people felt at home? Welcome?  More relaxed?

What if the office time was in an environment where you met on couches instead of conference rooms?  Where there was an air hockey table to play while batting around new ideas for revenue generation?  Or a walking space for movement meetings?

The one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t come up with your best ideas in an office during the 8-5 window.  They typically come when you’re doing something else….like taking a shower, or a walk, or playing pool (or air hockey).  

For a hybrid workplace to bring high productivity, high employee engagement and a positive culture, you must start thinking out of the box.  And that includes trust, communication, and space.

Companies have an opportunity to create the new normal in the corporate world. And employees need to speak up and share your ideas on how to create something engaging and even inspiring in the workplace.

Will hybrid working be our future norm?  I hope so.

You can Emerge Positive.



Is your company looking for a solution to improve engagement, work culture, and productivity? Connect by Emerge Positive® is a cloud based SaaS service designed to enhance well-being and productivity in the workplace.  To learn more, go to www.emergepositive.com/GetStarted.

Leave a Reply