Are We Ever Going Back to the Office?

Are We Ever Going Back to the Office?

The way we think about work has forever changed as a result of the pandemic. The sooner we adapt, the quicker we can move toward reimagining the way we work to forge the office of the future.

As we continually absorb more data and information, one recurring outcome seems to prevail; some employees are more productive working from home. Questions surrounding corporate culture, employee productivity, focus and collaboration confuse the direction the data provides. Harvard University recently released a study on productivity and employee engagement, showing employees working remotely are 5% more productive than those working from the office. Findings state, on average, employees are working nearly one hour longer a day and attending more meetings a day, which tend to be shorter. Does this directly translate into higher productivity? How long do we expect this to last? How does this impact culture?

For years, I have been saying that WHERE and HOW you work will affect culture, engagement, and productivity, which will ultimately affect a company’s bottom line. Unfortunately, what used to be a no brainer has become an extremely difficult decision as CEOs and CHROs struggle with deciding where their employees are working and for how long. 

After a year of remote working, as a business owner or manager, you might be thinking about whether you should renew your lease, downsize your office, or simply eliminate a centralized office.  There obviously are many pros and cons for each option. My own survey shows that over 75% of employees want to return one to three times per week on a hybrid schedule. Trust your employees and ask them how they envision the office once restrictions are lifted. By asking the question, you can gather feedback and clarity in order to make an effective decision.

I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years and have learned that while people want spaces to be productive, they also want spaces where they can collaborate and engage effectively. We are social beings and long for connection, especially younger professionals who might need to be mentored and are accustomed to socializing at work. Parents are also looking to get out of the home so they can have a break as well as minimize interruptions when focusing on tasks and projects. Every person and every business is different, which is why only you can determine what your needs are for when you return to the office. I highly suggest you survey your team and get anonymous feedback so you can really find out what they need to be productive, happy, and healthy.

It’s time to rethink the way we work, and we can help. Let’s start a conversation with our Workplace Productivity Analysis; see how we can help you reimagine your workplace.

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