The Future of Commercial Office Space
The in-person office is here to stay!
While office spaces were once the place to do your work, for many industries, this is no longer the case. With advances in technology, one could literally work from anywhere. Aside from some challenges, such as balancing different time zones, large organizations and small businesses alike have ‘hacked’ a new way to get to work.
Does this mean the end of commercial office space? Not necessarily. Here are a few reasons we think the physical office is here to stay:
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees were converting ironing boards into desks and finding ways to hide from their children. For those who live alone, you might have found yourself brainstorming with your dog.
While you can certainly make your home office productive, there’s something to be said for the classic ‘whiteboard session.’ According to a recent survey by TechRepublic, 27% of employees found video conferencing to be the “biggest barrier to communication.” During video calls, it’s easy to tune out and get distracted by other open tabs, signal drops, and a less-than-ideal sound quality. In-person meetings and brainstorming sessions require you to be attentive and they can foster creativity through easy communication (both verbal and nonverbal).
Working from home for eight hours every day can almost certainly lend itself to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Even the most introverted can miss the white noise of meetings, coffeemakers, and phones ringing.. An office solidifies an employee’s purpose and role within the company. The office space is a physical reminder that employees are not alone and contribute to the company’s bigger picture on a daily basis.
Happy workers are hard workers. One of the key ways to retain talent is encouraging and developing direct supervisor/employee collaboration. An office space is the perfect setting to allow those relationships to flourish. Here’s why:
Encouragement. Millennials, specifically, have been proven to thrive on encouragement and motivation from a superior. In an office setting, it’s easy to stop by a colleague's desk and congratulate them on a great meeting or their recent performance.
Engagement. Getting your team involved in volunteer or relationship building experiences is best done in the office. These activities help employees understand their impact within the organization, rather than simply focusing on day-to-day activities.
Elevation. A dedicated employee is one who thrives off opportunities for growth. Identify those opportunities and coach them, while offering constructive feedback. Weekly in-person meetings can help foster open communication on how the employee is tracking on their growth goals, as well as build trust.
What does the future hold for your office space?
As employees begin to return to the office, ensure there are new standards and safer solutions in place. Dividers are a space-saving solution for smaller spaces that don’t have the luxury of separating employees. Sanitizer stations located throughout the building will be a helpful reminder for employees to practice cleanlier habits, along with friendly signs encouraging hand washing, social distancing, and mindful space occupancy.
How will ensure your team is safe, comfortable, and motivated this year?
For additional information and suggestions regarding sanitation and cleanliness, the CDC offers tips and tricks for creating a safer work environment.