DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to a work event this past weekend that was so much fun. I didn’t realize how much I miss being around people. Just having the chance to hug other people and talk to them face to face was so nice, as I work 100% remotely. I’m grateful for my job because I was unemployed before the pandemic, but I now see that I crave human interaction. I’m thinking I should start looking for a job where I have to go to the office, at least on a hybrid basis. My friends think I am crazy. They think having the freedom to work independently is a benefit. I don’t think so anymore. Am I wrong to look for a job in an office? -- Need People
DEAR NEED PEOPLE: Human nature says that we are meant to be together. Babies that are not held perish. People who are completely isolated often suffer from depression. You are not wrong to crave human contact. That said, if you like your job, you may want to find other ways of interacting with people rather than replacing it. Join a club or an organization that focuses on something you are interested in and that hosts regular in-person engagements. Get involved in your local community center, neighborhood watch, house of worship or sports association. There are plenty of ways that you can interact with others outside of work. That’s when working from home might be an advantage, because you won’t have commute time that eats into your social time. You can also work from a co-working space where you will be around others, just not at your employer's physical location.
It is perfectly fine for you to look for an in-person job. They still exist, and many employers are searching for hard-working, dedicated employees who are willing to come to the office. You will be considered an asset in many work environments. Do some exploring and weigh your options.