Thanks to technology, almost everything you would do at the office can be done while working from home. No rush-hour commutes, better family time, and a lot of flexibility. There is no doubt that working remotely brings with it a bunch of benefits. However, it is important to pause and remind ourselves why traditional offices were created in the first place.
As offices are putting in place their return to work strategies, it is vital to consider the benefits of a traditional office. So, if your business is planning on going completely remote, here are some reasons to consider.
COLLABORATION AND INNOVATION
Creativity is a defining characteristic of humans. We are driven to create things in our daily lives, big or small. The office provides us with a space to come together as a team and bounce ideas off each other. It allows us to foster synthesis without delays that usually occur when we are collaborating virtually. We may have the fastest technology while working from home, but it does not compare to meeting your team face-to-face. Being able to see a person fully, allows us to gauge body language. It allows us to catch verbal and non-verbal behaviours that are usually lost while collaborating remotely. If your team creates or finds solutions as part of your job, no place offers the same value as an office.
THE HUMAN ELEMENT
Human beings are social creatures and perform the best when they are not isolated. Working remotely can sometimes take away that human element and cause us to feel lonely. A report from Buffer in 2019 revealed that 19% of employees ranked loneliness as the second most common drawback while working remotely.
Regardless of what your personality trait is, we all need some sort of human interaction. Being together in the office and having face-to-face interactions works wonders for our physical, cognitive, and emotional health. Meeting your co-workers or even acknowledging your friend across the floor can help develop informal relationships. These relationships are vital to make you feel included in the workplace.
Working virtually brings with it its own set of challenges and concerns, including the loss of speed and productivity. There is a greater risk of distraction, side hustle, and an overall decline in dedication to work. Being in a physical workplace reduces all these concerns to a great extent. Being around your co-workers and managers increases accountability, and allows you to get your head down and get work done. Decisions are also made in real-time. This means that processes are faster while working in the office as opposed to the ‘answer at your pace’ trend with emails that slow down the fruition of a project. In addition to this, meetings are more productive and so are your working hours!
A sedentary lifestyle can be very damaging to our health. Working remotely can sometimes blur the lines between your personal and workspace and limit your options for movement inside the four walls of your house. The office gives you that sense of demarcation. It allows for movement, even if it means walking to the watercooler or going to the conference room. Ergonomic office furniture in the office like sit-stand desks and lumbar-support chairs can also help on this journey of a healthier lifestyle!