But it will never be the same. The Covid-19 pandemic is a global tragedy that has cost more than 1.6 million lives. In an effort to stop the spread and keep our economies running, we changed the way we work and live. Technological progress has enabled businesses made their employees work from the safety of their homes. Google, for example, has 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, saving many hours not having to commute. But is it all so simple? Let’s see why offices will still play a big role in our careers.
1. Human interaction
It’s in human DNA, people are thriving in the group. No one is perfect, but together we are stronger by complementing and helping each other. And that’s also how we grow and develop. People communicate through emotions. And that cannot be fully transmitted through video calls.
2. Collaboration and creativity
Feedback and collaboration are key when developing a product or a service. And especially when working on a physical product, no virtual reality will ever be able to replace the ability to test it and have that instant, firsthand feedback.
3. Company culture
A sense of belonging is important for employee not only to feel good at work, but also to be proud of what they do. Working surrounded by people with a common goal increases employee performance. Unfortunately, according to research at University of Arizona, about 40% of people working from home feel disconnected and one third feel they do not receive enough support.
4. Access to amenities and tools
When brainstorming, it is important to visualize things. Marking boards help to put all the pieces together and write down complex ideas. The same can be said about a TV screen or a projector in a meeting room. In addition to data visualization, instant feedback and discussion are also important when working on a project.
It’s easy to join a colleague who’s heading for a lunch, or go one floor down to consult on a cross-department task. Do you bike to work? And what about your height adjustable desk with all those shiny buttons? In the office, believe it or not, it is easier to move. When working from home, it usually takes a few steps from our bed to the working desk. So, when we stay at home, we generally move less than in the office.
The year 2020 accelerated the way we work and set a new standard. Employees will have more flexibility in terms of work location and working schedule. And companies will take advantage of remote talent as technology advances. However, offices will remain important 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 collaboration and productivity, since employees will go to the office for different reasons.
Are you planning to make changes to your office? Let us know.