In a TikTok video shared last month, Deran, @deranchristian, shared his stance about working from home vs working in an office. He started his “return to office rant” by prefacing how lucky he is to have his job.
“I know people are out of work and I am very, very grateful to have a job, so I do not want to come off as insensitive,” he explained. “I just think there are things that can be improved.”
The TikTok user went on to explain that he’s noticed that employees, including himself, have been required to go to their offices “at least two to three times a week”. However, he said that he didn’t like this routine “at all”, before explaining why he didn’t see it as “necessary”.
“When I go into work I wake up, I go to my car, I sit in an hour of traffic in Los Angeles,” he said. “I get out of my car, walk into office, open up my backpack, and work on my laptop on a different table. And then I leave, during rush hour, and drive in another hour of traffic to go home and think to myself, ‘What was the point of all of this? Nothing.’”
Speaking to The Independent, Deran went on to explain why working from home can sometimes have more benefits than working in an office.
“Personally, I feel like I accomplish less in office because I just want to socialise and talk to people,” he said. “I’ve worked from home for the last two and a half years, and missed out on social interaction at the workplace. That being said, when I am in the office, I tend to want to socialize more than I want to work. Working in the office is great for collaboration and teamwork, however the nature of my job specifically doesn’t require any of that, so it’s tough justifying coming in to work every week.”
In the video, Deran also expressed that he works on “a laptop and can work from wherever [he] wants to”. He denied the argument that he’s “anti-social,” noting he simply doesn’t see a reason to go to the office multiple times a week.
“I have no problem going in a few times a month, but to go into the office every week just for the sake of going into office is so pointless,” he added.
The worker went then said that his “ideal” situation would be that people have the option to go into the office “whenever they want to”, as the space is available if they need it. However, he noted that they “shouldn’t be forced to go in”.
He also prefaced some of the downfalls to a hybrid work environment, acknowledging that he can’t work from his parent’s house or work remotely with his friends like he used to.
Deran concluded his video by acknowledging that he’s still been able to get his work done while working from home, which is another reason why he doesn’t feel like he needs to go to the office.
“If I wasn’t doing my work, if I wasn’t being productive, if I wasn’t doing anything, I get it,” he continued. “But I’m doing my work. I’m doing my job. I’m finishing everything on time, there’s no point.”
Although he emphasised that he’s “super grateful” to have a job, he also confessed that working in the office has been “so disruptive to the routine [he’s] established over the past three years”.
As of 4 November, the video has more than 17,100 views, with many TikTik users in the comments agreeing with Deren’s stance and noting that work environments don’t necessarily affect how productive people are.
“It’s not about efficiency, it’s about control,” one wrote about working from home.
“Agree,” another added. “It’s 2022, unless your job requires physical interaction, let’s use technology and have people work remotely.”
A third person said: “I love working remotely. I hated going into an office when I never had to collaborate or even talk to anyone there.”
However, some viewers said that they like going to the office and shared experiences where employees preferred it.
“I work better when I’m away from the distractions of my apartment,” one wrote. “But I would love to not have traffic!”
“I’m a WFH supervisor – I had people quit when we announced we weren’t reopening our office,” another said. “It baffles me.”
To The Independent, Deran noted that while he’s “totally onboard with going to the office periodically”, he’s further explained why he’s become accustomed to working from home and how it helps him financially, as well.
“Sometimes people just want to get out of the house, or switch up their routine and I’m all for having that option,” he added. “However, I – along with everyone else in the world – have adapted and created a new life under this ‘new normal.’ And to have to uproot my routines/lifestyle to return to office is tough, especially with gas, inflation, and the increased cost of living.”
Throughout the pandemic, research has found that there are benefits to working from home. In one 2020 study conducted by internet provider Talk Talk, 30 per cent of employers reported that their teams have been more productive when working form home. 35 per cent of employers also reported that their staff was more collaborative.