There is a lot of talk amongst office workers about a post Covid future where more time is spent home working and visits to the office will only be needed for specific occasions. Will the demand for office space drop after this pandemic is over?
Whilst working from home more may seem desirable to some and a cost saving option for companies looking to cut their real estate budget, there are advantages to office working that I believe will result in office work being the preferred option for many employers and employees.
Company Culture - Spending time with co-workers means that working relationships are formed, networking opportunities arise and the company or team culture can grow. It is harder to have genuine relationships with co-workers via video calls and the office is a space where people build friendships. Apart from the social benefits of office working, it is also easier to notice what is going on with your colleagues’ work and to get involved in office politics.
Career building – Working in an office allows you to meet and work with new people. It also makes it easier for you to demonstrate your skills and show colleagues and managers your true potential.
Training – People may struggle to learn when working in isolation. In the office it is easy to see who is around and ask for informal help. In practice, this is harder to do over the phone or virtually. People sub-consciously pick up a lot of knowledge from seeing and hearing what is going on around them. For those more experienced, it is often easier to support and supervise others and to have confidence in their work when working in close proximity to them.
Collaboration – Working in an office gives you an awareness of what is going on around you and allows you to offer to get involved and help with any issues that may be causing your co-workers difficulties.
Creativity – Being in the office encourages and facilitates quick and easy idea sharing and can help with creativity and innovation. These ideas can often have a positive impact on a company and be beneficial for clients.
Work life balance – Surprisingly home working can have a negative impact on your work life balance. If your home becomes your work place it makes it harder to switch off…you can always log on and send that extra email. We miss out on our commute home which is the time where many of us we mentally move from our work life to our home life. There are also other distractions at home such as partners, children or the temptation of your next TV box set episode!
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