Do we still need an office?

02/07/2020 | Eclectic |
Bij degenen die ten tijde van de Corona crisis hun huis tot home-office hebben gebombardeerd, zal deze gedachte vast wel eens, of zelfs meerdere malen te binnen zijn geschoten.Het heeft natuurlijk zijn voordelen, denk aan flexibeler indelen van tijden, waardoor je productiever bent. Dit kan ook juist andersom werken, wanneer je nu je thuiswerk ook met zorg voor de kinderen moet combineren.

Rick Bomer, sales director bij Steelcase heeft zijn visie op dit onderwerp beschreven in een Linkedin artikel.

Indeed, the Covid pandemic has shown us that it is possible to enhance remote work, but “thuiswerken” as the one and only way of working has some limits we should not forget about.

Here are three misconceptions around working from home

1. “It costs less to have people work from home.”
It’s true that reducing real estate and other related workplace amenities can save money. But there are hidden costs to consider before asking people to work from home full time. Think about the fact that not everyone has the physical space, or the mental space to focus on work at home. People that work only remotely are more inclined to leave, with an erosion of the social capital of the organization.

2. “People are just as (or more) productive at home as they are in the office.”
Reality shows that yes, individual-focused work increases, but collaboration and creativity are reduced dramatically and collaborating is 55% harder. Work is a social activity: online, we disengage quicker. When physically together, productivity is much higher.

3. “People who work from home have a better work-life balance.”
Studies prove that that’s not so true. People work longer hours, they get more tired because of the long hours in front of the PC. Their physical and mental health is affected.

So how does work look like in the post-covid era?

We will see diverse work-modes co-exist: homeworking, hybrid forms of co-working, especially in large cities, and the office. The need for the workplace remains. The physical workplace is and will remain essential to foster collaboration and the generation of ideas and create a community and make people feel that they belong.

In the Netherlands, we have a real chance to evolve even further and lead in redesigning the workplace of the future. A workplace that is agile, flexible, equipped with sensors, and voice-control devices. We won’t go back to the old status quo, but we have a chance to reinvent the workplace and make it even better for people and organizations to thrive.

(Bron: “Do we still need an office”, Rick Bomer, juni 2020)