Saturday 17th December 2022
What is the value of working in the office | Condeco by Eptura

As working from home and more flexible working models have risen in popularity, the role of the office in modern business has increasingly been called into question. With so many people able to work so effectively from home, employers and employees alike have been wondering how it’s possible to justify the extra time, money and resources that need committing to office work.

The practical reality, however, isn’t quite that simple. The pros of remote working are balanced out by a number of downsides, the impact of which vary from one business to the next, and between different employees depending on their circumstances. Because of this, in the majority of organizations, the office still has an important role to play, whatever working model is used by the workforce.

In this blog, we’ll highlight the value that the office still delivers in a post-pandemic world, in three different ways for employers and three more for employees.

For employers

The old reason for employers wanting people in the office was so they could keep a close eye on the work and productivity of their workforce. That idea no longer really stacks up, as employees have proven they can still work hard when operating remotely. However, there is still plenty to derive from office work from an employer’s perspective:

It’s easier to support employees: some employees working from home suffer mentally from prolonged periods of isolation. Making the problem worse is that it can be much harder for managers to detect these problems without seeing employees face-to-face. Office work can help employees better engage with co-workers and managers, and access any support services they need, either formally or informally.

Stronger cultures can be built: connected to the previous point, it’s the working relationships and friendships that are built between employees and teams that are key to driving business success, and a positive corporate culture. It’s very difficult to achieve this when employees are all spread across different remote locations, and don’t get the chance to meet up in person. The office is the place where this can be made possible.

Greater value can be gained from real estate: employers have naturally made major investments into their offices, and won’t want to see that go to waste. At the same time, the old model of permanent nine-to-five work and dedicated workstations for every employee is increasingly inefficient for a flexible working world. By reshaping the office, deploying shared and bookable workspaces, and slimming real estate down where possible, the office can deliver maximum relevance and value for years to come.

For employees

Even employees who much prefer working from home will still need to come into the office some of the time, alongside those who don’t have the right home environment for regular remote work. For employees, a repositioning of the office can make it much more relevant to them, in these three ways:

Greater choice of working models: not every employee is the same, and while some prefer to work from home, others enjoy the ability to collaborate and bond in the office – and get away from a home environment that might not be conducive to working. Providing an office environment with a choice of bookable workspaces maximizes the choice available to employees, ensuring as many as possible can work in a place that suits them.

A place to build bonds and collaborate: the benefits mentioned above for employers around collaboration apply to employees too, but in a slightly different way. Employees often find it difficult to work together by digital means, because it’s harder for conversations to flow and creativity to thrive across phone calls or video calls. Using the office as a place for face-to-face meetings can generate greater productivity from meetings.

They can feel part of the company’s success: when employees can see their co-workers, talk to them and learn what else is going on across the organization, it helps them understand and appreciate how their work is contributing to the growth of the business. By working in an office at least some of the time, it’s therefore easier for employees to ‘buy into’ the ethos of the company, and feeled like a valued, integral member of the workforce.

Research report: Attitudes to Hybrid Working.

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The impact of hybrid work on employees and employers.

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