When we first went into lockdown the world turned upside down. For most of us things were very different; a little frightening but at the same time quite exciting. None of us had experienced anything like this before and whilst we were all quite rightly apprehensive, there was a novelty which we all embraced. No commute! More time with our children. Long walks and bike rides. Zoom quizzes.
Six months on and the novelty, for me and I suspect many others, has most definitely worn off. I miss seeing my colleagues in person and catching up with those in other teams who I don't regularly "see" on video calls. I miss the spontaneous lunches and after work drinks with friends and contacts. Perhaps surprisingly, I now miss my commute - often the only "me" time I really get.
Evidence now shows that working from home on a permanent basis does not suit everyone, from reduced productivity to loneliness, less effective supervision and fewer opportunities to learn from and with each other. It's time to do everything we can to ensure that our offices are a safe and welcoming environment to return to, for those ready and wishing to do so. Whilst common sense and the government guidelines must obviously prevail, particularly given the current increase in cases of Covid-19, a combination of home and office working is almost certainly going to become the norm and will, I hope, provide many of us with a better life balance going forwards. Those employers telling staff that there will be no return to the office at all until 2021 might just wish to think again about the harm being done both to their employees' mental wellbeing and also to their businesses. JP Morgan's findings are unlikely to be unique.
JPMorgan sees productivity decline for staff working from home