Posted-on September 2020 By Wallis Summers-Smith
I've got 99 problems and returning to the office could be #1.
A common trend that I have noticed through conversations with our partners is that retention and productivity levels are at an all-time high. Engagement ebbs and flows, but there is still a universal need for the social aspect or human contact (shock horror) that an office environment brings.
The ability to work from home freely was almost unheard of pre-COVID and if a business offered this it was a HUGE selling point, with many people willing to sacrifice significant dollars from their salaries in order to have that flexibility.
Post-COVID, the ability to work remotely and move freely is going to be much more common so where does that leave the need and requirement to attend an office?
Many people would agree, that they need some kind of interaction in an office environment. For me, my best ideas come to me when I’m sitting in the one room with my team leaning into robust conversations, bouncing ideas off each other and jotting notes across a whiteboard.
However, many people would also agree that they could not see themselves heading back into the Monday to Friday rat race in the city.
If we ‘re-imagine’ the workplace what does it look like?
Perhaps we can look at the office as a landing pad or ‘the mother-ship’ and create a space for collaboration and socialisation, allowing our workplaces to run with more of a hybrid model and a good mix between remote and office-based work.
Employers are redesigning the requirements of team attendance in and around the office, with many having one or two ‘all in’ days each week where the entire team is exactly that, all in and days where the team are working remotely are focused more on administrative or process driven tasks.
Having set days of attendance can remove the feeling of isolation when it’s a couple of the team in an empty office. The ‘all in’ days are for the ideas, collaboration and socialisation - it’s there for the community spirit and culture that every good business needs and ultimately drives people into the office for the experience of being part of that team.
Just like ‘pivot’, ‘new norm’ and ‘Carol Baskin’, re-imaging the workforce is #trending.
What will it look like when your team return to the office?