What about the community?
So if you take office community out of the equation we’ve got a big missing piece in the puzzle. Other surveys showed that although over 50% of people were happy to be home in May, the proportion is now close to 30%. It does not mean they want to be full time back to their offices, but they definitely miss the office and will be glad to spend a few days there.
What about friends at work?
Some colleagues are also friends or at least desk buddies. Being around people is the essence of a human being. Plus being 8h per day back to back in front of zoom call is not exactly fun anymore.
We hear everywhere “I miss human energy!” connection and direct communication - you just can’t replicate that at home.
What about company culture?
Employees said they feel that their company culture has deteriorated and that the lack of face-to-face interaction has hurt working relationships and left them a missing feeling of connection to their professional community. “There is no informal productivity or connectivity that happens” when people are not in the office together. The ability to have water-cooler chats or pop into someone’s office is lost. It’s hard to have spontaneous interactions in an online world.”
What about the office feel?
It is so true that a creative agency had the crazy idea to reproduce office noise and re-create the ambiance of the office. It won’t replace the interaction with colleagues but it is something to experience https://bit.ly/343Xtfs
What about new colleagues?
it is very hard to onboard new colleagues without interaction. "We’re all trading on current relationships and in some ways that’s fatiguing to a degree. I do think organisations will use work from home and flexible workplaces, and so they should, however, the office creates a culture."
We are humans, not robots, we need to connect with people. Rebuilding the community by taking a hybrid digital/physical approach is necessary.
Workers have a deep desire to stay connected to their communities. We should prioritize the transition from physical to digital, and roll out new ways to recreate our building community and to maintain connectivity in the digital realm.