4 return-to-office annoyances and how to reduce them

Now that the world has decided the pandemic is over, business leaders are increasingly demanding that workers return to the office – at least a few days a week.

In my view, this kind of return to work is not a good idea. There are three advantages to working from home:

  • Saves workers time and money on commuting,
  • Reduces risk of COVID-19 transmission – US cases at 121,400 on August 1, up 53 percent from a year ago (understood because today’s home tests are not widely reported as of 2021 was given in. new York Times), And
  • Could enable leaders to reduce office space which would help them cut costs.

Despite my objections, business leaders are demanding people to return. While some people who have been away from the office for the past several years miss working in person with their co-workers, they may have forgotten the many hassles of working in person.

Here are four such problems and what industrialists should do to reduce them.

1. Fridge fights food.

Office workers bring food to work and keep it in the fridge near their desks. While they are not watching, coworkers steal their food without telling them. When the food owner confronts coworkers, they make excuses—as if the food owner wasn’t clearly informed.

This is a significant annoyance for managers. In one case is the sales manager of an auto dealership, Gary Bush, who had to settle a dispute between two employees over “a large container of apple juice”. wall street journal,

The dispute was between the employee who was planning to drink it later in the day and the coworker who admitted to drinking much of it, denying responsibility because she had failed to label it as her own, the Journal noted. .

The time Bush spent mediating the dispute may have been better able to motivate the dealer’s sales force to bring in more paying customers. To avoid refrigerator food fights, companies may give each employee a mini-refrigerator or require workers to clearly label their food before placing it in a shared fridge.

2. Food in the microwave smells bad.

People often bring lunch to work – the purpose is to heat it in a microwave oven before eating it.

Destiny Palmerin, sales and marketing coordinator for the health-products maker, told the Journal that coworkers compete for microwaves at the same time. In addition, the microwave often transmits an office-wide stench—such as burnt popcorn, Palmerin complained.

There are ways that managers can avoid these problems. For example, they can create a shared Google Document in which coworkers sign up for a 10-minute appointment with Microwave to avoid scheduling conflicts. In addition, managers can locate microwaves in a room that has a strong ventilated door that emits cooking odors from the building.

3. Noisy cubicle farm peers.

Business leaders often find people in cubicle farms — desks separated by partitions that aren’t large enough to block out the noise generated by coworkers. Tech-company support specialist Josh Ross said he is surrounded by noisy coworkers who type aloud on mechanical keyboards and express their frustration.

In my view, the best solution to this problem would be to allow such customer support people to work from home. If this is not possible, business leaders should provide them with a soundproof space so that they do not suffer annoyance

4. Fights over the air conditioning.

People have different preferences for cooling in summer and heating in winter. These differences create conflict. For example, Matt Schantz, a university academic advisor, does not like air conditioning while his colleagues do. He lost the battle without air conditioning and sometimes wears two sweaters to deal with the cold wind that blasts him from the vent near his desk, reports the Journal.

One possible solution to the thermostat wars is to designate groups of desks for people with different heating and cooling preferences. For example, all those people who prefer air conditioning during the summer can sit together like people who want to turn it off.

Business leaders who insist that people return to the office should take responsibility for alleviating the annoyances that could have been largely avoided by allowing people to work from home. For work that requires people to be in office together, leaders should consider my suggestions so that they can be minimized.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.