‘Happy Hour’ is a new HR Dive column from Reporter Ginger Christ. Follow along as she dives into some of the offbeat news in the HR space.
Would you get a mullet to work from home? I wouldn’t. But I would doth speak in Shakespearean prose to work from mine estate with mine felines (as long as I didn't have to worry about proper usage).
As an outlet covering human resources and workforce issues, our team’s inboxes fill with news about the return to work, employees’ feelings about it and how those decisions affect engagement and productivity. But one email a few weeks ago was a party in the front and business in the back — and worth sharing.
RemoteBridge, a digital HR and talent acquisition platform provider, surveyed 516 employed U.S. workers to find out just how far they would be willing to go to work from home. It turns out that, unlike me, 11.2% of respondents said they would be willing to grow a mullet. But 16% were willing to speak only in Shakespearean English, and 22% said they would do almost anything.
More seriously, 18.6% said they would take a 10% cut in salary to work from home.
Curious to see how others would respond, I posed the question on my social media channels: Just how far would you be willing to go to work from home?
Some said they don’t want to work from home, that the varied hours remote employees sometimes log can hinder productivity and hurt team spirit. Others started working from home decades ago and appreciate the flexibility and ability to spend more time with their family. One said she would work the night shift to stay home, and another said she would put in her “2 minutes’ notice” if asked to return to the office. Others said they would miss work friends if not in the office or would get too distracted working from their house, which needs work itself.
My own position on working from home is similarly complicated. I started working from home in 2020, first because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then because a layoff led me to take a remote job to stay local. I hated it, at first. At my last in-person job, I went into the office even though it wasn’t required because I loved being around my co-workers and the energy of working from a newsroom.
Three years later, I still miss the office and probably would go in one or two days per week, if I had a local newsroom. But I love how the shift to my home allowed me to better appreciate time — time with my family, my pets, my friends, even myself. I still connect with my co-workers and my work because we all make an effort and care, but I also prioritize my life outside of work.
Now, instead of listening or reading books on my drive or bus ride to work, I cozy up with a book on the couch with my cats during the evening commute. I take meetings sometimes while walking around my neighborhood. And, if I get the urge to write at 10 p.m. when my night owl brain kicks into overdrive, I sit down to write, not worried about when and where I do my work.
Working from home isn’t for everyone — or every company — but it works for me, and I’m thankful for it. But not enough to get a mullet. Maybe a perm.