After months of working remotely, many are finding that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Here’s why professionals can’t wait to get back to their office space.
Had you asked professionals prior to 2020 about working remotely, a good majority would have been all for it. After all, the comfort of working in your own space and with no commute is an appealing idea. The reality, though, is that working remotely comes with its downfalls, and workers in cities across the globe are clamouring to get back to the office — a recent KPMG survey suggests this number is as high as 63%. Considerations will have to be made for the “new normal” of post-pandemic workplaces, but with the year we’ve collectively experienced, employees are excited to get back to their offices for a number of great reasons:
One of the major things that people miss about the office is the separation of work life and home life. Research shows that most workers struggle to disconnect (even long before the pandemic), and with the rapid adoption of digital connectivity tools over the past year, it’s easier than ever for the workday to bleed into evenings and weekends. On the other hand, increased domestic responsibilities stemming from spending more time in the home has made it more difficult to focus on work — this is especially true for those who live with partners, children, or dependents. The office provides a necessary space where you can channel your energy solely into work, which allows your home to become a place for switching off and winding down.
Being part of a team means working together to make great things happen. Zoom meetings have their place, but they’re just not the same as face-to-face interactions — in fact, 44% of employees in a recent study reported video call fatigue since the start of the pandemic. Most people find it much easier to collaborate with colleagues when they can be in the same room and bounce ideas off one another without experiencing technical difficulties. It’s also easier to get motivated and inspired just being around others and watching them in action.
Many feel they are more productive when they’re in a dedicated work environment. As WFH mandates stretch on, employees are increasingly more likely to report that their productivity has decreased. The distractions at home can be never-ending, whether it’s children vying for attention or the television beckoning. The office has its distractions too, but they tend to be the type of distractions that promote connection and encourage efficiency, such as a conversation with a colleague about a particular project or a work meeting that clearly defines roles and expectations.
Human beings are social creatures; we thrive when we’re surrounded by other like-minded people — it’s why company culture is one of the most critical aspects of an employee’s overall job satisfaction. 45% of Canadian employees, according to PWC, report that team connectivity and communication has been one of the biggest challenges of WFH over the past year. In a healthy organization, a casual conversation by the water cooler can lift one’s mood and get creative energy flowing, while special occasions like holiday parties, team building events, and milestone celebrations are also uplifting and help to foster an engaged, connected workforce.
The Office Environment
For many people, the office building isn’t just a place to work, it’s a culture in itself, a space that offer luxuries and a community you might not get at home. But while employees are eager to return, it should come as no surprise that the modern office needs to change and adapt to employees’ new expectations. For instance — to foster social interaction, collaboration, and overall wellness, green spaces in the open air should be integrated wherever possible. To promote work-life balance, offices should be well-connected to amenities, transit, and other services and necessities.
Most importantly, the new workplace of 2021 must promote flexibility. Yes, workers want their offices back, for the above reasons and beyond. But just as employees have found that too much WFH is too much, a rapid reverse-course to mandated full-time office work may not be without its challenges.
While many people have managed to incorporate remote working into their lifestyles, most will return to the office, at least in some capacity. Offices offer the opportunity to focus, mix and mingle and find work-life balance — enhancing all aspects of employees’ lifestyles.
If you’re interested in innovative office spaces in Kelowna that can be tailored to your employees’ needs, we invite you to check out downtown Kelowna’s first Class A office tower, The Block. Offering an unbeatable suite of amenities designed to promote wellness (a lush rooftop patio, lakeviews on every floor, bike storage and end-of-trip facilities) and a well-connected downtown location in the centre of the action, The Block is where business meets balance.