BOISE, Idaho — As COVID cases continue to drop companies are deliberating on how or if they should return to working in person.
Turns out, not all employees miss being in cubicles surrounded by their co-workers.
“My mental health is so much better working from home, there’s so much time to do other things,” said Christena Meier, who has been working from home for over a year.
For some people, the pandemic forced a work-from-home schedule and opened up a window of opportunities when it comes to a work-life balance.
“Being able to just go on a walk after work, I’m not driving an hour home every day, my mental stress is so much less,” Meier said.
“Just being more present overall in the household and spending more time with your kids, I also think there is a benefit to working from home because you are working longer generally, you stay logged on longer, you're not wasting that commuting time,” said Caroline Morrell, who’s also been working from home.
On the flip side, many long for social interaction and even claim, collaboration makes them more efficient.
“One of the hardest parts of the pandemic was not being in the office with the co-workers, so it’s been great to be back,” said Rachel Brown, a property manager who returned to the workplace four months ago.
Dr. Scott Hoopes, a psychiatrist for over 35 years, said humans need some form of social interaction, regardless.
“We are the most social beings in the universe we need each other, we need to be around each other and be with each other,” Dr. Hoopes said.
But he added, there’s no right or wrong when asking if working from home or in-person is better for one's mental health. Hoopes said it comes down to what an individual’s social requirements are and if they are an introvert or extrovert. Regardless, he suggests that business owners give their employees a choice before making a drastic change.
“If you are a manager or business owner, not a manufacturer where someone has to actually come in and put their hands on widgets to make them, I think it's going to be hard to hold on to good people if you insist on them all coming back,” he said. "The best management is the management that delegates and gives people the ability to make choices.”
The solution? Dr. Hoopes suggests businesses offer a hybrid schedule as an option for employees returning to in-person work.
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