A few days ago, I asked my 10 year old son whether, if he was working and the lockdown was lifted, he would choose to go back to the office and work, or rather carry on working from home like his parents have been. I was quite surprised by his answer: he would opt to go back to work. I imagined that the response from a young boy who now has his parents around all the time would be the total opposite, ie. “No! Stay at home mom! It’s such a jol – there’s freedom and we play monopoly!” But the reasons behind his choice were interesting. He told me that he finds it very confusing with us working from home. He feels like he doesn’t know when we’re working and when we’re available to play with him, and he sees how distracting it is for me that I can’t be left alone for long periods without being interrupted.
While I personally can’t wait to go back to our office to enable me to divide my home life with my work life more effectively – with a hard start and hard finish to my day – there may be a lot of people who feel differently. Whatever their preference, many people are now rethinking the way they want to work in the future. This stands to have a huge impact on offices and working as we know it.
Our team is very busy studying these options and strategising about how we can help our clients with the dilemma of how to bring staff together while still getting the best out of them. A good starting point for this is a survey of your staff. They’ve now had an opportunity to test different ways of working for a couple of weeks, and they’ll all have different opinions on how they want to work.
When a business focuses on putting staff in their best environment, they get the best out of them. By doing a survey, some of your staff might say that they’d like to work at the office as they always did. Others may prefer a 50/50 split, where they do focused work at home (if they have a quiet house), and then come into the office to strategise, collaborate with others and have meetings. A third group may prefer to work at home all the time, and then only come into the office for a weekly meeting to touch base with the rest of the team.
We can then look at this information, dissect it, and rework your company layouts to suit your individual staff needs, rather than fitting it into your previous standardised way of working. By doing this, we can then design different spaces in the office to suit them, which can reduce required office space, make spaces more efficient, reduce company overheads, and result in happier, more productive teams.
Would you like us to assist you with a staff survey that gauges how your team prefers to work? We’ll help you compile and conduct a staff survey, and will then collate the responses to come up with new space plan options for your office. Contact us today to find out more, so that when you go back to work, you already have a plan in action for a more productive business with a happier team.