American workers will be steadily returning to their permanent offices throughout the balance of 2021. Research by Upwork suggests that 75% will be back in their offices by year-end.
Ongoing vaccinations and evolving CDC guidance support that expectation, as do the challenges of working from home. It’s welcome news for all of us.
The work-from-home trend created by the pandemic has spurred numerous productivity studies. Because they are working solo in their home offices, at-home workers report being less distracted by coworkers. They say they spend 30 minutes less per week gossiping or catching up on personal news. They also report spending 7% less time in conversations with management.
There’s a flip side, though. Numerous surveys report that workers seriously miss the social interaction of working in a company setting with peers and management. Physical isolation has been cited as the main reason so many want to return to the office for at least part of the week. Gallup research found that human beings typically need six hours of daily social interaction in order to thrive. Airtasker reports that 70% of workers think social interaction at work is just as important as the work itself.
Another insight indicates that workers produce more if the workday is treated as a sprint, rather than a marathon. What this means is working intensely for a finite period of time, say for one or two uninterrupted hours, followed by a break. Repeated throughout the workday, these sprints can sustain focus and energy and boost productivity. The key is to discover the duration of intensity that works best for you.
One study found that at-home distractions were more likely to impact productivity if the work is boring or the individual doesn’t enjoy it. People doing work that is meaningful to them, or work that encourages creativity, are generally more productive and less susceptible to distractions.
Working from home does have its unique benefits, it’s true. Consider the absence of the daily commute, which can range from 10 minutes to 60 and even 90 minutes. Combined with the return trip, having zero commute puts anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours back into an individual’s day. Many have turned that gift of time to their advantage, starting new hobbies, getting regular exercise, doing home projects, and enjoying quality family time.
Ultimately, some workers will find themselves balancing their need for social interaction in a company office with the desire to hang on to their new-found personal time. A hybrid work model might provide a solution in these scenarios, such as rotating between a home office and a company office.
Where do you stand?
Are you ready to return to a professional office setting, or have you already done it? Do you look forward to interacting with fellow attorneys and legal professionals in a healthy environment? Do you think that six hours of daily interaction sounds about right?
Are you eager to enhance your workday, and perhaps boost your own productivity, by tapping into professional legal support services? Such as certified paralegals, court reporters, mediation and deposition support? Or legal bookkeeping, trust accounting, or legal research? You don’t have to do it all yourself, you know.
Legal Edge Services is open for business, with private offices, well-equipped meeting rooms, and professional services to meet your unique requirements. We can customize a solution that’s perfect for you—because that’s how we do business.
Call today for a personal tour of any of our five South Florida locations or email us at Info@LegalEdgeServices.com.