Gee & Ursula: Should we work from home forever, or is it time to return to the office?

Jun 14, 2021, 11:35 AM | Updated: Jun 15, 2021, 7:41 am
work from home...
The office of sits empty with employees working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula opened the phone lines last week to let listeners explain why they are itching to return to the office, or why they want to work from home. This is a big question most workplaces are facing now as COVID-19 restrictions start to lift.

Amazon reverses course, joins other Seattle tech companies offering work-from-home options

Host Ursula Reutin is hoping people return to the office soon as she misses their energy, but she understands the desire for a hybrid model, while host Gee Scott wants to keep working from home.

The first caller sided with Gee and said they’d like to continue working from home.

“My company is actually moving to a hybrid, so kind of what Ursula’s talking about, like a couple days in the office and a couple days at home, but I really have loved working from home.”

Part of what they say they have loved about working from home is that they are home when their kids get on the bus for school and when they get back in the afternoon.

“Even though I’m working and I’m upstairs in an office and I’m doing my job, I’m still home. I still get to be there when they get home and that … was not an option before and now it’s turning into one and, I mean, it’s a silver lining around the whole situation. I just wonder like what our society might look like, how it might be different in a couple years if more parents were at home when their kids got home.”

This listener also pointed out that it seems like the extroverts at work are the ones who want people back in the office, while the introverts are typically more in support of working from home.

Another listener shared that they started a new job last year and enjoyed training via video calls.

“Actually for training, it’s great — nobody’s bugging you, you’re not right next to each other in front of a screen. She can show me her screen, I can show her mine, [we] totally feed off each other without any interruptions from anybody. That part of the training was amazing.”

On Facebook, other listeners chimed in, with one saying: “Get back to the office. The surrounding shopkeepers and bartenders have missed you.”

Another wrote: “The only people insisting on returning to the office are those who need to micromanage their employees.”

Washington hospitality industry staring down shortage of nearly 90,000 workers

A listener who has worked at home since the 1990s called in to share their perspective, and said they actually feel closer to their coworkers now because of the increased frequency of video calls.

“In this strange environment, I’m actually closer now to my coworkers who are all over the globe, because of Zoom meetings and speaking to each other over Zoom. We make a point to show our faces.”

On the other side, one listener said being in person gives us all an opportunity to work on interpersonal skills, get to know our coworkers, and build camaraderie, as well as support local businesses.

“I think we forget that we generate a lot of dollars when we go back to work, right? I mean it’s our local economy — we stop for gas, we buy some lunch, we share a snack with a coworker. And I think that’s the important part about going back to work. I think it gives you a chance to mentally prepare and to deal with other things that normally you wouldn’t because you don’t have that opportunity to communicate with people.”

Listen to the rest of the comments below:

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

Seattle apartments, landlords...
Gee and Ursula Show

How Seattle’s extended eviction moratorium may leave small landlords behind

Seattle extended its eviction moratorium that aims to help tenants during the pandemic, and approved two new regulations that impact landlords.
2 days ago
Gee and Ursula Show

Dick’s Drive-In plans to ‘invest in employees’ by increasing base wages

Starting wages at Dick's Drive-In are increasing to $19 an hour, and $20 at the Seattle locations on Broadway and in Queen Anne.
3 days ago
Vote by mail, ballots, election stress, lawsuits...
Gee and Ursula Show

Washington Sec. of State: Onslaught of election lawsuits could cause ‘significant damage’

Washington Sec. of State Kim Wyman is concerned that lawsuits challenging election results could be undermining the democratic process.
5 days ago
Gee and Ursula Show

Vaccinated Vancouver woman hospitalized for COVID confirms ‘hospitals are full’

A woman from Vancouver, Washington, was vaccinated, yet still caught COVID-19. She shares a first-person account of her experience inside hospitals.
5 days ago
Pfizer vaccine, students...
Gee and Ursula Show

What can latest from Pfizer tell us about when state’s kids will be eligible for vaccine?

When will the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine be available to Washington state's children? Based on the latest from the company, it could be soon.
7 days ago
coronavirus, Kirkland nurse...
Gee and Ursula Show

‘I feel heartbreak and anger’: Kirkland nurse describes toll of pandemic over last year

Kirkland nurse Jenna Loney describes the toll the pandemic has taken on her and others in the health care industry over the last year-plus.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Gee & Ursula: Should we work from home forever, or is it time to return to the office?