When Do You Return to Work?


If your boss is a great boss, why go back to the office when you’re working from home?


“I think for most people you have to do something to make yourself wake up at the crack of dawn,” says Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, an online marketplace connecting job seekers with employers. “I’d actually rather spend my day working from home than having someone in my office.”

While retaining a high level of productivity from home may be a perk you could live without, the main issue underlying the firm’s decision is people. It is much more common for a remote employee to return to work, although it’s typically a relationship with a manager that causes the reconnection.

“When you’re in an indirect relationship working from home, you’re still working towards your work goals with someone, whereas you’re working directly for someone when you return to the office,” says Robert Bruno, president of software company Business In-Place. “It’s typically when that relationship cools down to a point where you need to come back.”

Just how bad is the reintegration? Surprisingly good. In a survey of 1,000 employees working from home, 70% said they felt their ability to get things done in the office was comparable to before they started working from home, while 64% said the same for their job performance.

If you truly can’t seem to keep up with your work, then the solution may be to make sure you are working toward a goal in the office first. “It’s making sure you’re working toward the same goal but in a way that does the trick for people when they return,” says Sutton Fell. “That’s the key – be focusing on things you did before.”

Are you still earning a paycheck? Then you can go home.

I’ve been working from home for nearly a year now. It’s been a great lifestyle, but I’m ready to return to the office. What are my options?


It’s perfectly legal to work from home for the rest of your career as long as you are no longer actively searching for a job. You don’t have to provide proof that you’re actively searching for work at home – most simply ask for proof that you were working from home in the previous six months, which satisfies employers.

For most companies, a suggestion by an outgoing employee is the best option. If your boss leaves abruptly, then it’s usually best for the company to not replace him or her. If your manager leaves before the holiday season and doesn’t return, the new boss will already have qualified candidates in mind.

In most cases, closing the office during the holidays will not be an issue. No one will leave the building, and most often it’s at the start of the fall season. If you plan to work from home during this time of year, you’ll still need to do so during daylight hours.

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