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Home office

Why your workplace is so much like home

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From taking a peek into HomeAway’s office, to interviewing Ken Hoskin, head of APAC talent of Airbnb, and uncovering the needs of expat assignees for their serviced apartments; it had me thinking of how alike the office and home really are. Here are my thoughts!

Similarity #1: Personal space

My bedroom, which is also my favourite place on earth, is filled with accessories, precious mementos; and maybe even some lost souls I’ve collected previously.

Similarly, my desk is clearly mine. I enjoy keeping my desk as organised as is socially acceptable (my editor knows this too well), putting up personal notes, and it even hosts some of my favourite heels! And, as I scan across the office, I notice that no two desks are the same.

With LEGO figurines neatly placed on the desktop, adorable potted plants, and holiday Polaroids; it almost feels like I’m being welcomed into their homes. A sneak peek into my colleagues’ treasured memories, lifestyles or simply, a favourite colour.

Similarly, with no two desks being alike, no two colleagues are either – reminding how each brings a set of different strengths to the table.

ALSO READ: [Infographic] What your desk reveals about you

Similarity #2: People

Talking about colleagues, I can personally vouch that some of my closest relationships are ones I have made from work. While co-workers may not be as close as family, they remind me of trusted neighbours. On a personal level, strangers are people you have no close connections with and probably would pay for help provided. On the other end of the spectrum, you share a close bond with family members and often expect nothing in return when help is provided.

In between that spectrum, you have your neighbours – reasonably close relationships would offer help, but also not the first on your donor list.

When it comes to the workplace, you try to strike a balance for what you do for your teammates. Need help with a report? Sure. I’m on it. Need me to cover up some legal issues? Sorry, but I’m afraid not.

With colleagues, you compromise, come to agreements around a common goal and then work towards these common goals. In other words, building a community – just like your neighbourhood.

ALSO READ: 12 of the pettiest colleagues you’ll ever meet

Similarity #3: Time spent

Last, we spend almost as much time weekly at work as we do at home. In fact, it’s just a mere difference of two hours daily if you count in sleep – and I love my sleep. Just as how I treasure time outside the office, time in the office is equally valuable to me. While no one enjoys the idea of slogging away to midnight daily, time in the office doesn’t mean less fun.

In fact, it brings fulfillment each time I tick off the boxes on my to-do note pad (told you about my need for organisation) – the same way it feels whenever I finally finish that series on Netflix at 3am.

Does any of this resonate with you as well?

Photo / 123RF

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Wani Azahar
Senior Journalist
Human Resources Magazine Singapore
Wani Azahar is passionate about the art of conversation. She shares this with readers across the APAC region through engaging interviews, discussions of latest industry news and the occasional relevant Gifs – because she believes in ‘personnel’ touch.

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