Back To Work in Office
Pandemics are a regular occurrence throughout human history, from influenza to polio, and so on. Not to undermine the severity of COVID-19, but eventually there comes a time when the population reaches a certain point of vaccination and herd immunity that makes it ultimately safer to go back to a somewhat normal form of existence. While some major adjustments will have to be made to stay guarded , at some point, the transition into a new normal way of life is inevitable.
The modern workplace setup that we had all become accustomed to over the years was arguably hit the hardest in an economical sense. In research conducted by Wundamail – an e-mail based team management software, in April 2020, 56% of the 20,000 respondents said they would prefer cutting down the time spent on video calls. The statistics indicated that video conference fatigue started to catch up even in the first half of the year. It was easy to see why many people prefer working from home. It made it easier for people to choose the hours they wanted to work and to schedule their work time around other responsibilities. The problem is that remote work has less advantages for the organization and more for the individual. Naturally, many employees are hesitant to do so on a full-time basis, but there are those who have had enough of the work-from-home lifestyle and are more than ready to take the first step. Here are a few reasons why returning to office could be beneficial for the company and employee as well:-
1. Collaboration & Creativity- Workplace is a highly beneficial place to come across new people with the same goal and gain new perspectives on projects, plans and ideas. Telling people they need to be creative and spontaneous at 10.30 am next Tuesday on Zoom rarely works.
2. Rejuvenates Work Culture- Long-term remote work has been proven to have a negative impact on the mental and physical state of your employees. Many employees have reported feeling extremely isolated while strictly working from home due to the lack of interaction with their colleagues. As a result, the vast majority of them are actually looking forward to returning to the office every day or occasionally because they feel that it gives them a greater sense of purpose and the motivation to perform better at work.
3. Purpose & Productivity - Working in an office setting allows you to communicate more openly and freely with your coworkers in a less formal fashion than e-mails, private messages or scheduled video calls and meetings. Another benefit of spending time with colleagues in the office is that it reinforces the sense that you share a common mission. When people feel connected to the mission of the organization, it improves their overall satisfaction with their work.
4. Work-life Balance- One of the main aspects of post-pandemic life that office workers have been deprived of during the pandemic is a proper work-life balance. Returning back to office can help gain a new sense of enthusiasm in maintaining a healthy schedule while taking care of other aspects of life as well.
Recently Wellness Associates organized a Red Carpet welcome event for a client wherein the employees dressed for the theme and posed for shutterbugs which was then followed by activities like fun games at their desk and cake cutting etc. Such events would help employees transition better from the virtual world to the real world and ignite a hope to resume their normal lives.
Returning to work post-pandemic will encourage companies to draw new policies that put employees at the core of the organization. Top leadership will have to keep aside the old approach to design their workplaces that fit the new working method. A fluid approach to getting the job done will motivate the teams and encourage further growth. For employees, returning to work post-pandemic will be a new experience. Looking at this change with a positive outlook will allow them to transition quickly and boost their productivity. Human beings are social animals, working alongside peers after a year-long hiatus will certainly reap new benefits and opportunities.