Home or Office, 'tis nobler?
I recently came across an article (link below) from our partners at eMoney. It talks about how working from home can cause higher levels of stress. It intrigued me since it was published in 2019. Working remotely, even part-time, can be a perk. It reduces commuting time, provides more time with family, and doesn’t require nice clothes.
Even before the pandemic-led remote work movement, there was research indicating that working from home can be a double-edged sword. The article posits that working from home exacerbates the always-on mentality and puts you on the outside of healthy social office culture. It is harder to develop relationships through video than in person. Obviously, the author and researchers were unaware that within a year office work would shift to remote settings. Market timing is not just difficult in investing.
After the initial shock of transitioning office life to the home, many workers became comfortable with the idea and now prefer it to the “old” way of commuting and being around colleagues. I recently heard of a company losing qualified candidates because they were expected to work at the office. It’s currently still an employee’s market, but it will be interesting to see how this dynamic eventually settles. Will companies that offer remote work fare better than those that want their employees in an office?
As is the case with financial advice, the solution is probably going to very specific to each circumstance. Two recent Wall Street Journal articles cast different lights on the debate about remote or office. The first depicts the harsh realities of having to share close quarters with people used to behaving however they wanted while at home. The second provides two examples of the creative process – one remote and one in person – both successful. Beyoncé created her new album with remote writers, engineers, and producers. Separately, a team of filmmakers collaborated in person to produce a Beatles documentary.
The articles show that either method can be successful. It depends on the team, how they treat each other and focus on the task at hand. Obviously, a hybrid option is the middle ground with some of the good and some of the bad. The good and bad could be different depending on your point of view.
We are happy to say that Jackson Creek has prospered in this environment. We were born during the pandemic, yet all the employees already had a history of working together so we were able to create an environment that works for each of us. We have some full-time remote workers and all others hybrid. I will say, working at home during early market hours in the Mountain Time Zone is one huge improvement!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d*
* The last lines of Shakespeare's Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1 copied from this site
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