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The Office Dilemma: Part One of Three

This is the first installation of our three-part series surrounding the importance of having an office. The first part looks into the connectivity and creativity that comes with working in a shared workspace, that cannot be replicated in a digital world.

Remote and hybrid work continues to rise as we head further into a pandemic influenced world. Being physically engaged and together helps distractibility and improve the human connections people crave. Whether they’re online shopping or social media scrolling, it’s easier to get distracted by other things when working from home. Rather than being in an office pitching in on a priority task – they could be doing laundry or responding to emails instead of engaging in crucial team discussions. These distractions can be easily removed by being in an office together and contributing to team tasks.

As humans, we are fundamentally creative and are always looking for different ways to express this. Companies are now required to be adaptable and embrace the new, in order to stay relevant to changing market needs. For creativity and innovation to work best,  in-person offices are necessary to keep up with demand. Creativity and innovation come together to push companies forward and keep their employees happy. Humans can be creative anywhere, but it’s when we come together that stimulates innovative thinking. To build on each other’s ideas and avoid awkward waiting times that come with virtual interactions. 

Ideas & Socialising

A successful exchange of ideas generally includes a flowing conversation that isn’t hampered by the innate disruptions of technology. Whether the internet cuts out or lags, being distracted and not answering messages or just general forgetfulness of not having someone in front of you during the conversation. There’s a certain kind of experimentation and idea generation that only comes when in real-time and space with another person. Another thing lacking in remote work is unplanned encounters. Coming up with new ideas because you spoke to someone outside of your usual circle or incidentally passed them in a hallway and sparked a conversation or idea.  

Some people work better alone and at home. But for teams who work better together, the office is the perfect space. Companies require collaboration to continue to push forward and continue to innovate. The co-creation that comes with working in the same space as a team is only successfully achieved when in the office. 

Connection & Energy

The rise of disconnection that comes with remote work is leading to lower levels of creativity and a higher risk of mental health challenges faced by employees. Being in-person can increase connectivity and innovation by allowing ideas and conversation to freely flow throughout the office. By increasing connectivity in the workplace people can now make decisions faster and complete tasks in just a fraction of the time they used to

As humans are social creatures by nature, we crave connections with other people. Regardless of the distancing that the pandemic has caused, this connection is critical to our humanity. Everyone is different with how much they like to work alone or with others, but everyone has some level of connection they inherently need. In-office communication has many benefits to the well-being of employees. The lack of human interactions can negatively affect mental health and wellness. While technology can provide a temporary fix, there is still a disconnect between most colleagues. A study done by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) showed that 71 per cent of people struggled to adjust to remote work, and some of these same people reported mental health challenges they had never experienced before.  

The longer people work remotely, the more likely they are to report issues of sadness and fatigue. People fundamentally need each other, and we can understand ourselves and our needs more around other people. Being together in an office quenches some of that hunger for connection, whether you’re solving problems in a team, working on a new idea or greeting your friend at lunch. 

The proximity in which people can be is currently limited, but it can still bring us together in an office. The need for connection and creativity can only be partially met with technology. We need that in-person, in-office collaboration to feel satisfied and energised. 

Find out how to enhance your office space to create connection and creativity by contacting A1 Office today.

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