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Home [email protected] When Hybrid Went From My Dealbreaker To My Favorite Part Of The Job
I was 3 months into a fully remote, contract role when I got a call from one of my recruiting buddies I had previously worked with. “We’re thinking about adding a sourcer to our team here at Lendio.” I told him thank you for thinking of me, but I had just started this contract and I was having a grand ol’ time sourcing in my pajamas all day. “Just meet my boss. No strings attached, it’ll be a great networking opportunity.” He knew what he was doing — he is a fantastic recruiter.
About a week later I hopped on a Zoom call with Kat Bello, Director of Talent at Lendio. Five minutes into the conversation I’m thinking “Oh shit, I really want this person to be my manager.” She was so passionate about Lendio and her recruiting team, and we went back and forth sharing ideas of what adding a sourcer could bring to the table. She was treating me like a sourcing expert (hello, imposter syndrome!) and we’re already collaborating on how this role could elevate Lendio’s recruiting efforts. I told her, “I love everything you are saying, but I have to be honest. I’m very content riding out my contract on my couch, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be interested in returning to an office.” Kat invited me to meet the team anyway.
We spent about an hour talking about all things sourcing, recruiting, and strategy. The thing I most remember was how much we laughed. I had forgotten how enjoyable a job can be with a team you laugh with! I got home exhausted from the social interaction I wasn’t used to, but found myself thinking “I really want to work with these people. I want more of this energy.”
A few weeks later, I returned to the office in pursuit of a more thorough vibe check and met a few cross-functional business partners. I was so impressed with the way they approach partnership and collaboration. Working from my couch was comfortable, but what it wasn’t was “easier.” I had forgotten how much easier it is to get things done when you can have a 5 minute conversation instead of waiting for back and forth responses in Slack. Not to mention that they were willing to take the time to sit down with a potential candidate that they were not technically interviewing.
Cut to a few weeks later. Lendio wanted to make me an official offer. They would figure out a start date that works for both of us. I said “Yes, I’m interested! But do you promise I can still work a few days a week from home? I don’t have enough social stamina and I’m afraid I will have separation anxiety from my sweatpants.”
I have now been at Lendio for about six months. I almost got whiplash at how quickly my perspective shifted on 100% remote work. I still cherish my days at home – I sleep in a little later, get some errands done on my lunch break, and appreciate my sweatpants even more. But I have found myself looking forward to going to the office more than I thought. My brain works differently when I’m around other people. We are sharing ideas in real time. Ideas that I would have previously deemed as “not important enough to bother someone with a Slack message.”
My takeaway is this: An ideal working situation looks different for everyone. It is all very circumstantial. But if you find yourself being swayed one way or another because every article, blog post, or statistic says “remote work is the way of the future” or “employees are only productive in office,” take the time to assess your personal situation.
I realized I am able to embrace more of what my job has to offer because I am not simply sourcing in my pajamas all day every day. I thrive on the energy of my team when I am with them, and I work deeply and recharge when I’m at home. You’ve heard it a thousand times: it’s about flexibility and balance.
And honestly, I’m still a sucker for free snacks.
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