Industry Thoughts

Why It’s Time to Bring Your Employees Back to the Office

By wizu | 29 July 2022

The return to work has been extensively written and talked about; however, this makes it sound like no one’s been in the office at all for the last couple of years. This is the wrong message and focus for your business. Instead, you need to change your thinking and focus on the return to the office.

What’s the problem with talking about the return to work? For one thing, work is an activity, whereas the office is a workplace, where everyone can work together to improve productivity, increase wellbeing, and create a hub that brings people together. This is the way to help your company succeed.

We’ve put together some reasons that it’s time to bring your employees back to the office rather than returning to work!

 

1. Most People Are Happier When Around Others

Humans are social beings (well, most of us, anyway) who thrive when we’re around other people. This applies at the office, too. Employees are happier working with colleagues in the same place. Working from the office allows them to build better work relationships and friendships while also building camaraderie and trust. It’s those face-to-face interactions that help employees feel like they’re a part of the team and develop a stronger sense of being a team. Full-time remote working can lead to loneliness.

This is especially applicable to younger generations, who tend to place more importance on making friends and socialising while they work.

 

2. Enforces Company Culture & Values

Bringing employees back to the office also helps reinforce company culture and values. Personal interactions are essential not only for current employees but for new ones, also. They have a better experience with everyone working out of the same office, rather than relying on virtual meetings. Not only that, but new hires also learn more from their observations and conversations with colleagues.

When working at home or remotely alone, it’s easier to experience a loss of mission without personal interactions. However, working in person promotes more engagement and works to keep teammates in line with company values and culture.

 

3. The Office is Valuable for Recruitment and Retention

Another positive of employees heading back to the office is that the office can be a decisive factor in attracting and retaining top talent. What’s more, employee loyalty to the company can wear down when working remotely for extended periods.

For these reasons, the office needs to offer something that working from home can’t—it must work to create a sense of community, drive culture, promote fun, and facilitate different types of tasks that make a company more productive.

 

4. Collaboration & Productivity

We touched briefly on collaboration earlier; however, it bears a closer look. Working remotely it is possible to collaborate with teammates and stay productive. However, it’s almost impossible to see when a teammate is struggling, making it difficult to provide them with the assistance they need.

Remote work also requires checkpoints and collaborations to be scheduled. They may also be done through email and chat; however, these methods are not as effective. Communication on this level requires more effort and can cause work interruptions when employees don’t provide or receive a fast response.

On the other hand, working in the office allows for a faster form of communication that’s more direct. Direct, fast communication makes it easier to come up with innovative solutions or creative ideas. What’s more, these can have a huge impact on employee growth and the company’s overall success.

 

5. Mentoring is More Effective

In addition to overall improvements in communication at the office, it’s also easier for the manager to mentor employees more effectively. It’s easier to spot troubles when employees need a little more guidance or more support.

In addition, more learning can take place informally through on-site mentoring. This may be done through observation or through experience. Both of these methods are more effective than an employee being mentored virtually. Bringing employees back to the office ensures they are better able to develop and move forward with their careers within the company.

 

6. Increase Purpose and Satisfaction

Companies and employees also benefit from working in the office by having a sense of shared mission. Being around others provides the drive for everyone to work together toward a certain goal, reinforcing the same level of commitment and drive for everyone.

The result is that employees feel more satisfied with their jobs and more connected to their colleagues. What’s more, they also feel a greater degree of purpose, which is just as important as receiving a paycheck.

 

7. The Office Builds Social Capital

Social capital is all about relationships and interactions between employees. It incorporates the three C’s of community, collaboration, and camaraderie. This means everything flows more easily and faster, including ideas, creativity, and decisions. Socialising and company culture are also part of the social capital of a business, which is an essential part of a thriving company.

The office offers a place where the foundation of social capital can be laid and built.

 

8. The Office Fosters Creativity & Collaboration

Being in the office means employees can have spontaneous discussions, conversations, and work together to solve problems at the moment. That’s not possible with most employees working remotely. While it is possible to schedule planned creativity sessions virtually, they’re much more effective in the  office.

There’s a certain energy that comes from working in the same room that doesn’t happen when working from home. And there are times when great amounts of creativity are needed; however, without that level of sustained creativity, it may be a win or loss. Working virtually means it’s more challenging to obtain new business. However, with more employees working together in the office, their creativity can flow, allowing their collaboration with teammates to lead to new business and clients.

 

Concluding Thoughts

Keeping your team flexible is necessary going into the future; however, nothing can replace working in the same office with teammates. They have more chances to work together, develop innovative solutions, and more.

Finally, employees usually find that being in the office again means more than just collaboration. It also means developing those relationships that are crucial to making any business successful.

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