You Shouldn’t Want To Work From Home

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Guy working in the middle of nowhere representing work from home by GradSimple.

During my last few months of university, I landed a job at a large Silicon Valley tech startup. The salary was good (especially for a new graduate), I had a comprehensive benefits package, I was getting a month off in between graduation and my official start date, AND it was completely remote.

I loved working from home. I’m a massive introvert, and the pandemic only made that worse. I could eat snacks when I wanted, I could hang out with my puppy, I could see my boyfriend who worked from home in the other room, and I could do laundry in between emails. I didn’t have to painfully try to socialize with people.

It was glorious, at first.

My Obvious Realization

After having been in COVID-induced isolation for the last year and a half of college, I didn’t really feel like I needed additional people in my life. I had my boyfriend, I had my close few friends, I had my family, I had my dog. This may seem modest to some, but for me, I was perfectly happy.

I am still happy, but I realized something.

Work sucks when you don’t talk to anyone, and I took the whole work-from-home thing perhaps a little too seriously. Once the world began to open up, my company started having in-person meetups. Now, I certainly don’t regret missing out on most of them. Any big gathering resulted in everyone getting sick.

However, we also rented office space downtown. Optional, but it was there if we wanted.

I never went. Ever.

I didn’t see a point, honestly. Not until recently. Even as an introvert, as someone happy with their small circle, I began to feel lonely amongst my colleagues. Everyone had a person, or a few people, they were close to. They called each other nicknames on Slack. They joked around on Zoom calls.

I did try to get closer to people. It’s hard when you aren’t as…socially inclined. Also, this was my first serious job out of school. It was my first time navigating what is appropriate to talk about in a workplace, what I can and can’t say, who I can talk to about personal things. How much is too much? I didn’t want to cross boundaries.

Shaking Hands and Smiling

The biggest difference, though, wasn’t that all of my colleagues were social butterflies (though, a lot of them were).

Most of these people had met with each other in person. They’d been able to connect face-to-face.

I hadn’t. In fact, I’d only met a few people from my department of over 100 employees.

This changed recently, when I got the opportunity to go to our first company-wide event in over a year.

It was scary, and stressful, and intense, but I am so glad I went. And it changed my opinion on working from home.

I’ll confess now, the title of this post is a lie. Working from home is awesome, and I don’t want to give it up. Being able to accommodate my life while getting my work done is a blessing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

But you should definitely go meet your colleagues. In person. Shake hands, give hugs. I don’t want to sound like my mother, but real, human connection is really taken for granted these days. I didn’t realize how much I truly missed it, and how far it could push the creation of closer relationships.

I know you may value being able to roll out of bed 5 minutes before work, and trust me, I do too, but take it from me – a SERIOUS introvert – going the route of isolation is only going to leave you isolated.

Who would’ve thought?

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Head Writer and Editor for GradSimple. She also translates all of Ricky's incoherent raccoon ramblings into readable content (newsletter subscribers know what's up).

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