The return to offices has been a topic of discussion amongst managers & c-suite teams within companies since shortly after businesses began to return to operations following the initial shutdown (due to the pandemic). While this may be being portrayed as daunting for some, in actuality it appears that many are in fact craving this return to normalcy.
At the end of last year, 27% of workers said that they struggled to unplug while working from home, an increase of 9% compared to our first collective year working from home in 2020. This is more than understandable! When work and home, personal and professional blur into one, it can be hard to feel fulfilled and focused in either realm. As the opportunity continues to grow for employees to return to a more distinctively divided work and home life, many are looking forward to the chance to return to the workplace.
A full year of working from home is a long time. Why should we go back?
According to a recent study, those who returned to the office four to five days a week reported a 54 per cent increase in morale compared to those only working from home. Looking at all employees who returned to their office anywhere from one to five days per week, there was an over 40 percent rise in morale.
Uptick in collaboration and strengthening of company culture
The same study showed that employees who thought their company’s handling of returning to the workplace was effectively put into place reported a 7 per cent improvement in collaborative productivity and 12 per cent improvement in experience of company culture.
More opportunities to foster employee engagement
An employee’s ability to work productively, achieve personal satisfaction, and view their company positively are all keys to business success. Unfortunately, individuals who are not engaged in their work have higher absenteeism and lower productivity than their other, more engaged coworkers. Having a centralized work space is vital to fostering employee engagement in this way.
Teams that are unable to collaborate and communicate effectively result in negative interpersonal interactions, which can often lead to a consequent drop in revenue and profit losses. Face to face communication is imperative in the workplace, and after a year of all Zoom and Facetime meetings, more in person interaction can only be a good thing!
Lower staff turnover
A workplace with unengaged employees, poor teamwork and communication challenges leads to a toxic culture that impacts employers through high staff turnover – an estimated $223 billion over the last five years for US companies. The simplest way to engage employees and improve teamwork and communication is to provide a safe, respectable workplace.