Now lockdown is easing, many of us are gradually returning to the office. We take a look at the benefits of going back and why we should be encouraging this welcome return to normality.
Remember when we could grab a quick coffee, pop out for lunch or organise a last-minute meeting in the breakroom? These may seem like distant memories, but many of us are looking forward to these enjoyable moments with colleagues again.
When we surveyed our team recently, we found that nearly everyone cited they were missing seeing people face to face. Connecting digitally has been great to stay in touch but it can’t replicate the connection we get in real life. Working together in an office can support better collaboration and increase employee engagement.
While working from home gives us more flexibility and agility, there are pressures that come with it. One challenge has been finding the ability to balance work-life with home life when they’re so closely intertwined.
People report that it’s been hard to switch off at the end of the day and they’re forgetting to take regular breaks. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed and overworked – both factors that can contribute negatively to mental health and wellbeing. If your team aren’t feeling their best, this can lower productivity and even cause time off work.
From a personal development perspective, working from home for so long has potentially led to some missed opportunities. According to a recent survey, 53% of professionals worry that WFH has had a detrimental effect on their career progression.
The adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’, might have meant that your team’s work and achievements have not been as visible. The lack of spontaneous water cooler chats and general inter-company networking hasn’t helped career development either. The office environment simply makes it easier to openly communicate with team members at all levels and create more opportunities for career growth.
The pandemic tested even the strongest of company cultures due to the vast increase in home working. Encouraging a return to the office will undoubtedly help to strengthen cultures that have suffered. Working from home created a disconnect within teams and Zoom calls can’t compete with face to face communication. By keeping your company culture strong, your employees will feel heard and know they are valued and that, in turn, will help to attract and retain top talent which is vital for success.
Getting back to it
And finally, it’s worth noting that some of your employees may experience anxiety about returning to the office. Given the length of time that people have spent at home over the last year, employers should be mindful during this transition. It’s important to be sensitive and flexible in your approach. We’re all just working this out together so none of us knows exactly what a full return to the office in 2021 will look like.
Get in touch
One thing is for certain though – your team will want a quality coffee experience at work. So please get in touch if we can help you with recommissioning your coffee machine, ordering a new one, or just stocking up on your consumables. We’re here to help.