What’s the Point of an Office Anyway?
Date: September 15, 2023
Let's face it, we're all part of the grand saga that explores the merits of office life versus the allure of working at home in our pajamas. Remote work and hybrid setups have swept through workplaces over the last three years, and we've hashed out the pros and cons over virtual coffee chats. But before you throw in the towel (or the ergonomic office chair), let's pause for a moment and unravel the layers of this complex place we call the office. Why do we even need an office in this day and age?
Team Building Can’t Happen Online
Virtual meetings and digital emojis are a constant in our daily lives. Plus we've embraced the art of mastering Zoom while multitasking like pros. But there's something about face-to-face interactions that's a little harder to replicate through screens. According to the folks at Harvard Business Review, a whopping 79% of professionals interviewed believe in-person interactions are vital for cultivating lasting working relationships. So, while we've become masters of virtual communication, there's a spark that's only ignited when we're in the same room, exchanging ideas and a coffee or two.
The Haworth Pergola, pictured above, is a freestanding room for team collaboration or just a great break room. It can be added to open-concept workplaces that need a little help creating new workspaces for their team.
The Perils of Pajama Productivity
Oh, the sweet dream of working in pajamas – the anthem of remote workers everywhere. Studies have shown that working from the comfort of our humble abodes has its perks. A Stanford study found that remote employees are 13% more productive than their office counterparts. Many of us can relate! It’s easier to get focused, head-down work done without a coworker popping their head in for a chat.
But wait, before you start your victory dance consider this: A study of 61,182 Microsoft employees who went fully remote at the start of COVID found that remote workers found a decrease in communication within their teams and with other teams. This change in remote-only communication styles decreased the incidental communication that happens in person. So while you might be acing your to-do list, the free-flowing ideas need to happen in person at the brainstorming huddle.
The Melting Pot of Creativity
Now, the office might not be everyone's idea of a creativity incubator, but there's a certain magic to the space where ideas mingle and innovation happens. A survey by Deloitte unveiled that a whopping 85% of their professionals believe physical workplaces play a crucial role in fostering connections and teamwork. It's not just about the scheduled meetings; it's those serendipitous chats over a coffee refill, the unexpected brainstorming sessions by the water cooler, and the camaraderie that brews over shared snacks in the breakroom.
Providing these opportunities allows employees to engage the creative part of their brain that may be hard to access when stuck behind their computer at home. We like to create comfortable spaces for collaboration in offices. Consider the above photo - with lounge seating like the Cabana Lounge with integrated tables to use as work surfaces, teams are able to break out of the task-completing headspace and share creative ideas together.
So, What's the Verdict?
Remote work certainly has its charms – flexible schedules, cozy environments, and the distinct lack of khaki pants. And yes, the way we work is shifting, adapting to our digital age. But that old brick-and-mortar office? It's not just a relic of a pre-Zoom era.
As the world embraces the hybrid work revolution, let's not forget the intangible magic of the office. It's more than just four walls and a photocopier. It's where relationships bloom, ideas collide, and solutions spark. So while we embrace the future, let's also tip our hats to the ever-reliable office space that has stood as a witness to our professional journeys.
At KV Workspace we help make the office a great place to work. By providing your employees with the furnishing they need to support their work, employees are able to collaborate and bring new ideas to your business. For more information on how we work with workplaces please get in touch with Marie Richoux and set up a meeting. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.