The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that we work in ways that will endure long after it ends.
When a large part of the workforce were required to work from home, the short commutes, quick adaptation to online technology, and more family time was very attractive.
But as people cope with their new work setup, more challenges present themselves.
Lines were blurred between work and personal life, turnaround time for responses and approvals were affected, and managers struggle to keep track of employee productivity.
With the highly variable situation, an office environment may just be the solution we all need.
Is an office essential?
The office space is seen as necessary to get the workforce together. It’s a place to maintain productivity, where corporate culture happens, and where employees bond and engage.
During the pandemic, many of those who worked from home felt the absence of the office due to a sense of disconnect and fatigue as they worked from home.
They started to miss the camaraderie in the office, swift approvals and work fixes, and pined for casual brainstorms and watercooler conversations.
The office is where meaningful relationships take shape and where people fulfil personal and vocational aspirations.
The benefits of an office outweighs in more than just team building and team collaboration purposes, and here are more reasons why the office experience matters:
1. It's all in the team
They say “two heads are better than one”. Ideas tend to springboard far better when employees are grouped together in person through team meetings and impromptu brainstorm sessions.
Most employees recognise that having office face time is beneficial. Research company Twingate recently reviewed what staff missed whilst remote working, which was unsurprisingly – social connection.
2. Breaking the ice
It’s hard to imagine a great corporate culture if you can’t experience it.
Remote onboarding can be a struggle, and conversations to kick-start your introduction with your teammates and colleagues can be quite stilted.
Corporate culture is something more often experienced in the office by how fun the environment felt, how work is completed, and the opportunities to excel, without which a company can lose out on employee satisfaction and loyalty.
If work is always remote, it becomes more difficult to measure that sense of belonging and connection. A vibrant online meeting doesn’t muster team bonding in the same way that face-to-face encounters in the office can.
3. Harnessing the power of your talents
Time management and the ability to prioritise isn’t a universal skill; some people enjoy the benefits of being a master of their own time at home, but others excel twice better with positive peer influences in the office and the productivity that comes with working toward common goals as a team.
Successful business management has to recognise individual employee differences and adjust workflow to that end. Managers may find that the best way to handle it is to have access to all their talents in one place – the office.
4. The culture of wellbeing
You can benefit from the culture of your organisation and that’s easier to achieve in situ. A company’s culture can influence everything from revenue growth and productivity to employee retention and creativity. Staff simple feel more engaged and energised when surrounded by like-minded souls in an office environment. A good office is automatically supportive of this with its given common spaces, lounges, meeting rooms and more.
5. Measurable performance
In over a year, employers has had to re-evaluate performance reviews in consideration of employee commitment, and those who have underperformed (understandably) during the crisis.
For companies with prolonged work-from-home or remote working systems, new expectations and reward systems need to be set in motion to make sure no one’s accomplishments can slip through the cracks. However, it is also true that in certain work environments, visibility is key in measuring performances and being in an office helps employees get better noticed, seen and heard.
Corporate culture is best represented through social connection in an office environment. Working in the office inspires team collaboration, creativity, and motivation. It’s difficult to replicate this kind of enthusiasm at home.
Switching off work at the end of the day also becomes harder when you’re working from home. It’s much easier to draw a demarcation line between work and home life with the simple ability to travel to the office, and knowing when you can wind down for the day as you leave your workplace.
To offer employees the best of a balanced workspace, more companies are switching to the flexible office space. Flexible offices offer business-ready and customisable solutions for individuals and groups based on the preference of each company.
Flexible workspace are able to provide activity-based working environments to fit employees’ different work styles – from private offices for focused work conference spaces and meeting rooms for collaborative uses, as well as third places such as business lounges, breakout areas and common rooms to connect and unwind.
For more on how to optimise the office experience for your team in a flexible office space, get in touch with us www.compassoffices.com.