But it will never be the same. Covid-19 pandemic is an enormous tragedy that already cost over 1.6 million of human lives worldwide. It changed how we live and work. Vast number of businesses made their employees work from the safety of their homes, while keeping the economy going. Google just announced that it will make their employees work from home until September 2021. Suddenly we realized that we could do most, if not all, of our work from home, while saving a few hours a day spent by commuting. But is it all that bright? Let’s look at why offices will still play a big part in our careers.
1. Human contact
It is in the human DNA, people thrive within the collective. Nobody is perfect, but together we are stronger by complementing and helping each other. People communicate through emotions, which cannot be fully transmitted via video calls.
2. Collaboration and creativity
Feedback and collaboration are key when developing a product or a service. It depends on the industry, but when working on a physical product, no virtual reality will ever be able to replace the ability to touch and test the product.
3. Company culture
The feeling of belonging is important for employee not only to feel good at work, but also to take pride in what he/she is doing. Working surrounded by people with a common goal boosts employee’s performance. Unfortunately, based on research at University of Arizona, about 40% of people working from home feel disconnected from the company’s direction and one-third feel like they don’t get enough support.
4. Access to amenities and tools
When brainstorming, it is important to visualize things. Marker boards are helping us to put all the pieces together and write down complex ideas. The same can be said about a TV or a projector in the meeting room. Apart from visualizing data, instant feedback and live discussion are also important when working on a project.
It is easy to join the colleague heading for a lunch or go one floor down to seek help from a colleague in another department. Do you bike to work? And what about your height adjustable desk with all those shiny buttons? In the office, it is generally easier to move. When working from home, in many cases, it takes a few steps from our bed to the working desk. And it becomes harder to motivate ourselves.
Year 2020 accelerated the way we work and set a new standard. Employees will have more flexibility when it comes to the work location and work hours. Companies will take advantage of remote talent as technology advances. However, offices will be at least as important as they were before. Even though their character may change. Offices will become hubs for collaboration and creative work. And they will require more streamlined solution with focus on productivity, since workers will want to make the most of their time spent in the office.
Are you planning to make changes to your office? Let us know. We would like to help.