Making your environment work for you

Laynie Clark, Managing Editor

If you are joining the workforce and are not sure what modality is the best fit for you, you are not alone. This is something many people are struggling with now that work can be done from home. As we embark on the slow descent out of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have reverted to a traditional, in-person working environment, but what of those who prefer the comforts of the virtual workforce? After the brutal lockdown in 2020, where businesses had no choice but to turn to virtual work, many found solace in working from home. Has this caused a division in the working world? Is one modality superior to the other?


The environment is arguably the most important factor to consider when looking into working modalities. Working from home means creating your own space and having control over the number of distractions in the area; this promotes independence, but it also encourages isolation. While going to work in person could mean more distractions from others, it also means there is an opportunity to create meaningful relationships and build connections with those in the same field. Being surrounded by like-minded people can either be the biggest distraction or the biggest motivator — it all depends on how you take it. 


Think about it this way: Do you want to make new friends who you work with, or are you just going there to work and get paid? Your answer is important because working from home means there are very few chances to make any friends. That may sound harsh, but it is true. Connecting with people through a Zoom call is extremely different and less meaningful than running into someone at the office and deciding to grab lunch together.


Unfortunately, commuting plays a considerable role in determining what work modality you want. Depending on your office location, you could have anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour of commuting back and forth; this means spending more money on gas, which you know is not a good idea right now. This brings you back to working from home, where there would be absolutely no commute involved and you could get up and get started with your workday. 

Work-life balance

The key to success is having a healthy work-life balance. Working from home can sometimes complicate the work-life balance because the ball is in your court meaning you need to set work boundaries. Do not let employers take advantage of the fact that you are working from home by giving you more tasks to complete than usual. The work-life balance can be affected by in-person work as well. When you come home from a long day of work, you are more than likely going to want to jump straight into isolation mode and stay home, but it is necessary to incorporate leisurely activities into your routine. Make a point to spend weekends with loved ones outside of the house. Go out to dinner, go on a hike or do anything to break the work and home cycle. Regardless if you work from home or in person, prioritize yourself and your work-life balance. 

The point of this is to say that one working modality is not superior to the other. If you decide to work from home, then that does not mean your work is any less valuable than that of someone who works in an office. Choose the modality that is the best fit for your lifestyle; do not rely on an article to decide for you.