What to do if you don’t want to return to the office

woman at work.

If you’ve spend the past twelve months working from home, then you may have got used to the change of pace. Perhaps you can manage your time better without the daily commute. Or maybe you get more done in the working day without office distractions. Whatever the reason, if your company has asked you to return to the office, but you don’t want to, here’s what you can do:

Work out why

There are a number of reasons why you might not want to go back to the office. It could be that you don’t want to return because infection rates are rising where you live. Maybe you enjoy being away from your annoying boss. Perhaps you enjoy going to the gym on your lunch hour. It could just be that you despise the commute and you’ve been glad to be rid of it. Or maybe you’ve realised that the pre-pandemic work routine will no longer serve you and you’re happy working from home. Whatever the reason is, ask yourself honestly what is bothering you about returning and tackle it head on.

Infection rates are rising

If you are worried about returning to work because of the number of infections where you live, then have a word with your HR department. In most cases, they will be understanding and will perhaps agree to a working-from-home extension.

My boss is annoying

If it’s your boss that’s the problem (or another colleague), then work out if you can put up with them and if you can’t, look into moving departments. You could try speaking to somebody more senior about your concerns, or simply move on. If your boss is putting you off returning to work then there’s a problem that needs addressing.

I want to gym on my lunch hour

If you’ve got used to working out from home during your lunch hour, but you won’t be able to do it back at the office, then work out a way that you can. It may mean changing your workout time and doing it before work instead. Or perhaps you could ask your manager for an extra-long lunch break so you can fit it in?

If working out during the work day is now important to you, then make sure you find a way of that continuing.

I hate the commute

If you had a long commute before lockdown and you’re not keen to return to it, then perhaps you should see if you can continue to work from home a few days per week? If you have been doing your job from home without issue for the past twelve months, then your bosses should show some flexibility.

This job no longer serves me

If you’ve just realised that you hate your job and it no longer works for your routine, then maybe it is time to move on. Have a think about the kind of work you’d like to do. You could look for a similar position elsewhere, take on a new job completely, set up a business, or even go freelance.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life is too short to be unhappy. So we have to face issues and navigate difficult conversations in order to push for an outcome that serves us. So if you don’t want to return to the office, work out why and fix it. You owe it to yourself.