The opposition between remote working and being in the office is binary, simplistic, and reductive. Today we need to change our perspective, but also, no doubt, rethink workspaces. The events of 2020 have had a significant impact on the economy and the global labor market. While previously working remotely was a perk offered by some companies, it has now become the norm in many ways. Our research shows that 86% of American employees will now prefer more choice and control over where they work; in the office or remotely. In this new world, well-designed workspaces can offer a decisive competitive advantage to companies and help them succeed. As we begin a transition to a new hybrid reality there are new conditions that must be accounted for, such as adapting physical security audit checklists, socialization opportunities, and productivity measures.
More hours, less productivity
The best performing groups of employees enjoy a strong social infrastructure that gives meaning to their work, strengthens their sense of belonging, and develops confidence and resilience – all assets that help them adapt to a particularly unstable environment. However, we know that cohesion within workspaces and company culture have been hit hard by the pandemic, which has posed new challenges for leaders and their teams around the world. In many cases, while the number of hours worked from home has increased, productivity has declined.
This paradox is easily explained: employees have always needed to come together around a common goal to stay engaged and strengthen the performance of the company. If they buy into the organization’s vision, they will be more loyal and engaged. For their part, companies will benefit from this retention of talent, as well as a strong sense of cohesion, which is essential to attract new hires.
When teams are in the office, collaboration takes place more naturally. Innovation cannot be decreed – it requires spontaneity, serendipity, and curiosity.
It is essential, in order to innovate, to compare the points of view of different groups of individuals representing various facets of innovation. It is not by staying at home, in your comfort zone, that we will be able to bring out the innovative ideas that we need to stand out in an ultra-competitive environment.
Create links, cultivate your network
In addition to creativity, being in the office helps to develop physical and emotional bonds that help to appreciate the atmosphere within the group and to adjust their behavior accordingly. Nothing replaces face-to-face interactions: non-verbal communication, so difficult to decipher through virtual exchanges, says a lot about the group’s state of mind. Physical presence is crucial for bonding and networking, as it offers a lot of information that we miss when we are behind our computer screen.
To bring people together and create a cohesive community, we must focus on the intelligent design of spaces for safe collaboration and socialization that breathe vitality into the work environment and stimulate innovation through the confrontation of ideas and personalities. . Well-designed spaces, which facilitate transitions between different ways of working throughout the day, create a more productive and collaborative environment. Because space influences behavior, behavior shapes culture and, as we know, a rich and positive culture is an essential differentiator.