A Positive Outlook on the Return to the Office
Britain is lagging behind the rest of Europe in returning to the office – read our blog on why many of our team members and candidates think it’s time to catch up.
Every business is different and each employee has his or her own thinking on the topic, but the government’s mind is made up: it’s time to head back to the office. By general consensus, the government may have got a lot of things wrong over the past six months, but according to many of our own employees and candidates, they are right on this topic.
According to an analysis completed by Morgan Stanley and published via The Guardian, only 34% of UK white-collar employees have gone back to work, as opposed to the rest of Europe where almost 68% have now returned.
Here are a selection of quotes from our own team members and candidates about the benefits they have experienced on their return to the office environment:
“When we first moved to working from home, I dreaded the day that we were asked to go back into the office – the added flexibility, time saved without the commute and benefits of being at home were just too good. However the benefits became old very quickly and I wanted to be back in the office.”
“Having been able to safely return to the office has allowed me to once again focus on the job at hand and communicate more effectively with my team. It’s much easier being about to speak to someone in the same room than over a video call!”
“The best thing about being back in the office is having a routine and being able to entirely separate work life and home life, which I have found so important. When you work in the office, you leave work entirely behind and your home becomes an enjoyable place again.”
“The systems work faster, the additional screens save time, the energy from the camaraderie is motivating and the opportunities for learning from your colleagues increases exponentially. Oh and the aircon, that’s great too!”
“Being back in the office has been excellent for my mental health. After four and a half months of working in my bedroom, it is refreshing to be back to some form of normality.”
“Having the ability to bounce ideas off your work colleagues is extremely valuable and you don’t really appreciate the social aspects of a workspace until it’s taken away from you.”
“I can hear people’s conversations again and commend them on their work. Plus ask if they are ok!”
“Having a defined line between work and home was great to have back. Packing up my laptop was the best feeling!”
“I.T. is just ten million times faster, things get done more quickly and the commute is a dream at the moment!”
If we want our teams to be abuzz with creative energy and activity, they need to be together and enjoying actual human interaction as opposed to yet more screen time and if we want our cities to go back to being at their best, then the majority of us need to populate those same cities during the working week to reinvigorate them. And let’s not forget about personal relationships. Think of your friendship group: how many of these friendships have you made through the people you met and really got to know at work? And how many fun times have you shared with those people?
Speaking of fun, there seems to be a lack of it in many offices these days. Where did it go? Those employers whose businesses would benefit from the osmosis of people working together should be thinking about creating some FOMO for their employees. Most of us like to have some fun in the working week, and the best nights’ out in London are often the unscheduled ones where a quick drink after work today, becomes the hangover from hell tomorrow.
While ZOOM was a fantastic facilitator of keeping the office going throughout lockdown, you just can’t get all of these things from ZOOM relationships and a fun, team-orientated culture is one of the reasons a lot of people stay with their employers, so it’s time to get back in the ROOM. Along with ensuring a safe working environment, governments and employers should not just be persuading people to return to the office, they should be inspiring them to return to make that commute worthwhile.
And of course not all feedback was positive as this came back from one of the team member’s friends:
“The only thing I missed about my office was the printer”….
This London office has a long way to go before people will be keen to return!
If you are a candidate looking for your next temporary or permanent office support role in London, contact our team so we can help you with your search so that you can get back in an office and be inspired again. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care, stay safe and stay positive and we hope to see you soon!
Australasian Recruitment Company