Fighting Inertia: Why Return to the Office?
The WFH life has been nice. Morning commutes have been replaced with relaxing coffee and breakfast with loved ones. While it is no secret that working remotely comes with its own set of problems, many post-pandemic professionals are questioning a return to the office. Why head back to an office in the Summertime? Why stop when working remotely has been productive and has promoted work-life balance?
There is nothing wrong with such questions. However, the future of work has room for many different working styles and locations. As a result, the following is a list to remind professionals from New Jersey, New York, and beyond why going into an office, flex space, or coworking space is beneficial.
“We are naturally social beings. We like being with each other, shaking hands, kissing, saying howzit. We are missing that,” said Mark Barnes, founder of the investment firm Purple Group and former CEO of the SA Post Office.
It is no secret that the biggest drawback of the pandemic for professionals has been the decrease in human interaction. The deficit in face-to-face connection has opened up a greater need for belongingness within a community.
Offices, flex spaces, and coworking spaces are hubs for community. Going to work in a place where others are doing the same creates culture and a mutual sense of purpose. Even when individuals aren’t in the same company or organization, there is a sense of accomplishment when humans come together to complete something as simple as a day of work.
Relationships and friendships are most often the byproduct of an established community. And even after a hard workday, these people can bring about smiles and laughter. Chatting with community members at office events or over donuts and coffee can make a positive impact on the human psyche.
When community exists, so does collaboration. Whether individuals gather in an office setting under one company or a coworking spaces with employees from many companies, collaboration is key to innovation.
Industries often collide in coworking spaces. As a result, people from various walks of life are all working under the same roof. This gives professionals exposure to new people and new ideas.
“The physical workplace enables moments of serendipity that can move projects along. You might bump into a colleague while thinking about a problem and ask a question that leads to a new and surprising solution,” according to Harvard Business Review.
One of the biggest upsides to the pandemic’s work-from-home culture has been the new understanding about which tasks are better done at home versus in-office. The most pertinent example can be seen in onboarding and training. Onboarding new employees is often very difficult over video chat. However, professionals have been able to put all of these different work tasks to the test in a virtual setting. In turn, real life data exists about the positives and negatives of a virtual workspace.
Now, employers and employees can better schedule their workdays around the tasks they must accomplish. For example, an employee planning his or her week can designate certain individual tasks for at-home work while assigning collaborative efforts to days in the office.
Flexible offices of the future are there for individuals when they need them. Down the line, this will lead to a better division of “home” and “work.”
Working in an office is the cheapest it has ever been. Coworking spaces offer various plans at different price points—all based on the expressed needs of professionals. When it comes to offices owned by employers, there is no cost for employees to come in.
In the end, everyone has realized that working from home does work! For most professions, there is not a future that won’t involve some sort of remote work. However, when it is time to go into an office, flex space, or coworking space this should be seen as an opportunity for community building, collaboration, and productivity boosting all for a nominal cost to the individual.
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