With Covid-19 bringing about a whole new way of working and many employees preferring to work from home, it brings the value of the office into question. In March 2020, when lockdowns were imposed all over the world, many companies rose to the occasion, acting swiftly to migrate their workflow online so that work could continue even though we had to be confined to our homes. Since then many companies have simply continued remote working with some even finding that working from home was preferred by many employees. So, is the office still relevant in 2021? The answer is YES , working from the office still has its benefits that remote working can’t always replicate. Here are some of the main reasons why physical work spaces are still valuable.
It’s a great way to consolidate company culture
This is especially true for new employees, but also relevant to maintaining the company culture with employees that have been around for a while. Great company culture supports relationship building, shared experiences and personal development. An office environment can really reinforce the values of the organisation. Organisational culture also has a proven influence on business performance. This is because culture can influence people’s engagement and passion for the work that they do. Your immersion in the organisational culture can be what makes your work day more rewarding and what drives you to achieve your inner WHY.
Building human connection and relationships
While most of us grew accustomed to socialising digitally during lockdown, interacting with someone in person is a much better way to build relationships and connect on a deeper level than Zoom. While we don’t necessarily come to work to socialise, spending time with our colleagues does a great job at maintaining a social work culture helping us connect and collaborate together. Socialisation and teamwork really support better work and happier employees. Working in the same space, even if it’s just for a portion of the week, facilitates tangible connections and the kind of in-person interaction that builds relationships and breeds ideas.
High quality workspace
In an office you’re guaranteed certain standards: suitable equipment for your job that might include chairs that support your back and screens that don’t strain your eyes. At home, however, your workspace is your responsibility. While the idea of working from your bed sounds amazing, the physical and mental damage of not working from a proper workspace can have is worrisome. It’s also true that not everyone has the best workspaces at home – this could make it difficult for some employees to deliver on their work as they have other obstacles to face in their environment. The office allows you a workstation designed to support you in carrying out your tasks unimpeded. Let’s also not forget the free office WIFI and generator that kicks in when the power cuts!
Separating work and home life
It’s a known dilemma that many employees end up working even longer hours when they work from home. It’s unhealthy to be working during your every waking hour. While it isn’t always intentional, it’s often a result of not being able to differentiate between professional and personal when your workspace and your chill space are in the same physical area. Working from the office allows you to switch off from personal issues when you’re at work and switch off from work at the end of your work day and head home. The fact that the office allows you to separate your professional and personal domain is one way to help you achieve better work-life balance.
With all this said it is important to realise that in this post covid world the way we work in has changed forever. Finding a harmonious balance between human interaction with your teammates, the ideal work environment for a productive day, and being a part of the company culture all come into play when deciding how your team will work. There is no right or wrong decision, just the one that benefits the businesses objectives whilst driving employee satisfaction at the end of the day.