12/20/2022 • 4 min read

5 Things We Miss When We’re Not in the Office

With all the focus on remote work, we often forget the perks of being in the office hub

by Haworth, Inc.

Over the last couple of years, many people worldwide have become accustomed to working remotely or in a hybrid model. Some benefits of this new way of working include autonomy, flexibility, and an overall work-life integration. We tend to focus on these perks, but often forget about the potential benefits of going to the actual office space. Offices are, after all, designed to bring people together, help people work more effectively, and inspire people to work toward a common goal. Aside from these obvious benefits, we discovered 5 things you may miss out on by not being in the office.

Impromptu Conversations

Going into the office, you are naturally likely to bump into others entering the lobby, on the way to refill your water bottle, or while you wait for a conference room to free up. These chance interactions may just consist of a simple “hello” or conversation about the weekend. They not only help you bond with coworkers, but they can also prompt you to ask a work-related question or remind you of a task you may have forgotten about. You can save time and avoid sending an email or making a call by having that quick chat with someone.


By now, everyone’s had a virtual happy hour or celebrated a colleague’s long-awaited retirement virtually—on Teams or using some other videoconferencing technology. And everyone seems okay with it. However, having real, live conversations at work and the ability to celebrate colleagues’ accomplishments in person feels better—it reminds us that we are all human. If you’re not in the office, it’s hard to gather in a conference room with cake and punch to celebrate or see and smell the flowers delivered to your work neighbor’s desk.

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Visibility to Managers and Leaders

Very few employees will ever feel comfortable calling their company’s CEO or another executive out of the blue for a casual chat. But being in the office gives you the opportunity to see, and be seen by, leaders of your organization. It helps to build a culture of understanding and connectedness. Being known by leaders can also help you meet your professional goals.

Separation of Work Life and Home Life

With our home and work lives blending together, creating boundaries between the two is becoming increasingly important for many people. Having at-the-office hours lets you focus on your family and personal interests. Instead of having your laptop staring at you while you’re making dinner, for example, you can keep it tucked away and be ready for the next day of work. And when you go into the office, you can use your commute as a buffer between home and work. It gives you time to decompress and just be alone with your thoughts.

Work Friends Who Become Real Friends

When people spend a lot of shared time together, they build relationships. The people you work next to on a daily basis can become a special part of your life. Big and small moments are shared because you spend the days in close proximity to one another. Being a part of the office environment allows this opportunity to build community and lifelong friendships.

Ultimately, working at an office is much more than the work itself; it’s the experience of being together, accomplishing goals, and connecting on a human level.

More on Working Socially

The office has evolved into a place of social context—way more collaborative and interactive than it’s ever been. And restorative activities are just as critical to the creative process as high-focus work—and significant for innovation to occur. Social spaces in the office provide flexible, communal, and inspiring spots for people to pause, gather, connect, and refresh.

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