18 Aug The New Normal: Why We Still Need Offices
The New Normal: Why We Still Need Offices
Nearly 60% of the workforce in the US is now working from home. There are almost twice as many people working from home as there is working in an office. Prior to the pandemic, about 1/3 of employees worked from home at least one day during the week.
Many employers are now mandating that their employees work from home for the rest of the calendar year, begging the question of what happens to all of those empty offices? Will employees ever go back to working in an office building?
While the answer to these questions remains to be seen, we’re here to make the case why we still need offices. Read on to learn more.
Humans are social creatures. Even introverts sometimes need human connection and much of that comes at the office. If we take away the ability to interact with coworkers at the office, mental health can decline and the longer people work from home, the more likely they are to report feeling sad and fatigued.
Even if you aren’t going into the office every day, the opportunity to do so a few times a week or month is beneficial to the social well-being and mental health of employees.
Not Everyone Wants to Work From Home
There is the assumption that everyone likes to work from home and actually wants to work remotely, but that’s not the case. Some people may not have space for a dedicated home office, forcing them to create a makeshift workspace. Others may have children at home being cared for by a partner or other caregiver that makes it difficult to fully focus on work.
Offices Foster Collaboration
Not only can employees socialize at work, but they can also work together in a collaborative environment. While some collaboration can be done virtually, there is just something about working together in person that makes collaboration more meaningful.
Allowing teams the space and opportunity (socially distanced or not) to work together collaboratively is much more effective than trying to foster these partnerships via Zoom or Teams or some other technology program.
Technology and Innovation
Some jobs require technology and equipment that cannot feasibly be purchased for at-home use. Just like employees need to be together to really effectively collaborate, innovative ideas often develop more naturally when employees are together in-person to bounce ideas off of each other and build upon the ideas of others.
It’s really difficult to foster a sense of community or office culture when you have employees who are not in a central location (or even not even in the same city or state). An office space allows company executives and other leaders demonstrate what is expected when it comes to culture.
Inviting prospective job candidates to an office space also gives them an idea of the culture of the organization and its employees that they would not get if there is no physical office space.
Offices Should Be Here to Stay
Eventually, restrictions will be able to ease and people will be able to return to the office. In the meantime, it’s important that companies don’t prematurely decide to eliminate office space, as there are many compelling reasons why offices should not be eliminated.
If you are in need of interior design to help your office adapt to social distancing or just want to create a productive workspace, get in touch with us. We can help design and install your new office space. Check out our portfolio for some of the projects we’ve completed.