As we break a timely advertising campaign for our office landlord and client The Workspace Group, I thought I would coincide that by writing my personal views on the future of office working.
I have not enjoyed reading or listening to WFH evangelists over the past 15 months or so. In a year when the pandemic had to be treated with the utmost respect, the argument was lopsided and standing up for office working would have no doubt sent the keyboard warriors into a frenzy.
We are not out of the woods yet but as the UK opens up further today, it does feel like we are approaching a period where we can have a sensible debate about this subject.
I know the rules must change…I am not that naïve or prehistoric. However, in most cases, I cannot see any upside in running a business with a policy where the staff are working from home most of the time.
Creating a base for your staff is fundamental to driving company culture, efficient internal chat, people development and creating a healthy mindset for those who work for you. It is all about communication through the way we speak and move, and nothing captures that better than being in each other’s company.
Our staff started drifting back to the office about a month ago and you really do understand why it is so important once you experience it again. I threw a daft question over the desk to Katy, our Head of Planning last week…a question I would have never asked if we were working in isolation at home. That is how we develop…throwing around questions or listening to each other on the phone or in chats. If ‘educational osmosis’ was a thing, this would be it.
One of our senior team told me that his daughter (who has just started her first job after university), will only be allowed to go into the office once a month To be clear, this is a large advertising sales firm. It is beyond me…completely beyond me. How is she supposed to develop? What sort of enjoyment is her working experience going to be like? I shudder when I think about it and feel angry about how irresponsible that decision is.
We are working with a business psychologist who we have tasked to talk to our staff so everyone can have their say in the new way of working at december19. I have no doubt it will be a hybrid of the two where home will be the office for head down days and the office will be the office for staff to come together and work together. That to me seems a sensible approach and a good way to move on from the year of chaos.