The pandemic has transformed the world. Even the biggest companies were forced to adapt to the new reality and turn to remote or hybrid models of work. But even though the transition could be painful at times, many soon realized the benefits of this new approach.
Many companies have doubled down on the new workplace trends. All you need to do is hire dedicated development teams to set everything up and keep it running. And the benefits you get to enjoy far outweigh this investment.
It even got to the point when startups are questioning the necessity of office space in general. But although an office model might not be the best way to go this year, very soon this may change. With the lockdown restrictions dying down, the pros of good office space are coming to light once again. Keep reading to find out how an office space can do wonders for the long-term development of your company.
Current Office Space Perks
For the longest time, office spaces were used as a way to monitor the efficiency of employees. However, today it’s not the main purpose of an office. When creating a workspace today, successful companies go with a people-focused approach instead of a business-focused one.
An office that fulfills the needs of your employees can become an integral tool. It increases the morale and loyalty of people working in it and makes them feel comfortable. This positively impacts their levels of efficiency and benefits everyone involved. Let’s get into more details about how exactly an office can achieve this.
Having a Strategic Tool for the Company
Office space is first and foremost the heart of the company. A place where everything facilitates the best possible performance. An office space motivation that it provides to workers encourages them to create efficient working patterns. This in turn can help them get into the achievement mindset.
Another important function a nice office serves is a ground for negotiation with business partners. A spacious, beautiful office can make a positive impression on a potential candidate coming in for an interview or a would-be investor even before you start speaking to them. It can also increase the morale of employees working there. Even the smallest detail can influence their attitude:
- Color scheme
- The availability of break rooms
- The view outside the window
It is also easier to control and maintain the infrastructure of your employees in an office space. For example, a team of on-site system administrators can constantly monitor the quality of internet connection and quickly deal with any problems that arise. This can easily prevent or minimize possible technical problems your workers might have with their personal devices.
Every single one of those aspects can have an impact on the company in the long run. That’s why putting effort into the creation of company headquarters is such an important part of any official business.
Building and Maintaining Company Culture
An office also serves as a symbol. It is a physical representation of a company’s identity. Just think about all the big names out there. Each and every one of them has put great effort into making sure their offices reflect the workplace culture they are trying to maintain.
Even in our age of technology people still have trouble telling fraudulent websites from the real ones. Showing them a stable and real location they can connect your company to can get rid of their doubts and fears.
You should also note that it is much easier to care for the needs of your employees through the medium of an office environment. It becomes way easier to get to know people that work for you if you communicate with them in-person every day. And it is easier to set up small pleasant things like ordering pizza to the office.
And finally, an office space can facilitate the development of interpersonal connections between employees. They will be able to form real friendships and feel more welcome in their workspace. This can do wonders for their daily motivation. A controlled environment means you can better customize it for the needs of your workers.
Creating an Attractive Work Environment for Talented Employees
Whether it is a conscious choice or a subconscious craving for human contact, studies show that over 90% of employees would like to return to working at the offices. People got used to the comfort of their homes during the pandemic. But they are also capable of recognizing that this comfort might not be an ideal productive environment.
Companies should definitely take these statistics into consideration. Today, finding dedicated specialists is not an easy task. A well-designed office space absolutely can become the deal-maker for the returning workforce.
However, you should keep in mind that it’s not enough to just make your employees feel comfortable at work. In order to really be of help, a good office space should offer advantages that are unavailable for those working at home. You should take into consideration such factors as location, availability of public transport, interior design and minimized distractions. An office space is this good for a company only if it addresses small details like these.
In our tumultuous times, when a lot of companies have suffered a severe hit due to the sudden onset of the quarantine - it’s the members of the workforce that can help you recover. It’s a rare opportunity to start recruiting almost from scratch. Remember that one size does not fit all. Prioritize people’s needs and they will return the favor with loyalty and productivity.
Offline Collaboration and Communication
Now that we are done with the question of where does office space take place, let’s move on to looking at some of its advantages in detail. There is no doubt that online communication has its advantages. Its efficiency is definitely on par with the personal one and perhaps even better.
However, it does lack some elements like body language that make it feel disconnected and at times unclear. A lot of people miss this social value that only a personal connection can provide. As much as they got used to social distancing - they are eager to get back to socializing in person.
Any long-term project requires extensive teamwork. And if we are talking about a static team of professionals, face-to-face communication can help them build work relations far better and quicker than any Zoom call ever could. A strong bond between coworkers can do wonders for the team’s morale. And a team that functions like a well-oiled mechanism, capitalizing on its strengths and working around its weaknesses, can beat some of its more professional counterparts.
Moreover, for some people, it’s easier to conduct vital professional activities in person than online. Such activities include networking, work discussions, workload organization and more. So ensuring your employees have an opportunity to pick an approach they are currently in need of will definitely be appreciated by your workforce and positively reflect on the reputation of your company.
Enhancing Creativity and Innovation
The market today is more competitive than it has ever been before. Companies of all sizes are forced to look for innovative solutions to keep themselves in the game. Office space can be a medium for these innovative solutions. And you should definitely not underestimate its importance.
The design of a good office can and absolutely should facilitate creative thought processes while limiting distractions at the same time. A shared working environment can help your employees with brainstorming ideas and coming up with solutions much quicker than through the medium of remote work tools.
In order to get a couple of lessons on the modern trends of working space design, you can turn to the giants of the business. Huge corporations like Google and Facebook rely heavily on creative talent. Their workspaces are designed accordingly with light and pleasant design, spacious feel, accessible break rooms and barrier-free working stations. And that’s how a modern office is supposed to look like.
If your office space is this good for the company - you can sleep well knowing your company is on the right track. When it comes to designing yours - you can try getting into the slipstream behind the leaders of the market. But you should keep in mind that today everything changes pretty fast. And you should always look for new ways of making your office space as appealing and comfortable for employees as possible.
And finally, the aspect that definitely can not be overlooked is office space company security. Virtually every company has employee and data safety to keep in mind. An office space company has a controlled environment. And a controlled environment is much easier to safeguard and protect.
By containing all the sensitive data to personal computers in the office and implementing strict policy you can minimize data leaks within your company. Of course, the human factor can always circumvent your efforts. But with competent security staff that prevents intruders from getting into the office space, corporate servers that are monitored all day and generally a private corporate setting can seriously reduce the risk of a damaging breach. Moreover, you can use your office to conduct training, audits and drills that keep your employees aware of possible security issues at all times.
Security is just as important for small businesses as it is for corporate giants. The need to entrust the concerns of data safety to your employees that may or may not be properly trained for such a responsibility is definitely a disadvantage of the remote model of work. Do make sure to put enough effort into office space security and it will definitely pay off in the long run.
What About the Hybrid Approach?
With all those pros and cons choosing between the office model and the remote model can be pretty hard. Luckily, you don’t have to pick one or the other. The hybrid model can help you combine both approaches and benefit from the best of the two worlds. This approach is very popular since it accommodates people’s needs for social office interaction and office space motivation all while allowing them the option of efficiency of remote work.
In the post-Covid world, over 90% of full-time employees have expressed the wish to work from home at least 1 day a week. Over 80% would like to have at least 3 days per week dedicated to the remote model. These return to work plans indicate that a lot of companies will be using the hybrid approach.
It is a great compromise between the two models. People that have trouble with the commute or are forced to stay at home to look after pets or children can really appreciate the opportunity of taking a couple of remote days a week. This flexibility can increase their satisfaction with the company.
Overall, the hybrid model is likely to become the dominant approach for many companies out there. It combines the advantages of both remote and office models while allowing employees to adjust their schedules according to their needs. There are no obvious downsides to this approach and if you can’t decide which path to take - this middle road can become the perfect solution for you.
Is Remote Work Mode Still an Option?
Well, if office space is this good for the company, will we see employees return to office work after the quarantine? The most likely answer is no. Even though remote work lacks a lot of interesting advantages office work has, it still has a lot to offer. It’s more casual, less stressful, more flexible and requires fewer investments from the company which makes it ideal for small projects.
And some people just won’t be willing to make the transition back after getting used to working from home. Yes, they may sacrifice an ideal working environment, suffer from slightly reduced productivity and lack of personal contact with colleagues. But it balances out pretty well in the end.
However, the one thing you do need to look out for is long-term projects. The marginally lower level of discipline when it comes to remote work can accumulate when used in long-term projects. This can have a severe impact on the motivation and productivity of the work. This in turn will lead to missed deadlines which will ultimately damage the company’s reputation.
Some companies (mostly the IT ones) have learned to adapt to the changes in the market rather quickly. So this should not pose a challenge to an experienced team of developers. And companies that do find themselves struggling with figuring out the remote model can outsource their IT recruiting to veteran companies.
Today we consider companies that managed to fully adapt to the remote model progressive. However, even those that find themselves on the edge of innovation should not lose their awareness. If they want to stay on top of the game - they should continue to constantly monitor the market and be ready to adjust their strategy at a moment’s notice.
To Commute or Not to Commute
Office space motivation alone is a great argument in favor of the office model. And with the dissipation of quarantine restrictions, it is a great option for any company for the following year. All you have to do is make sure your employees feel comfortable in the office space you provide. Otherwise it kind of defeats the purpose.
A hybrid approach is definitely a viable option as well. It can help you attract new talent into the company and accommodate the needs of your employees better. Ultimately, it comes down to your ability and willingness to stay on top of workplace trends. Flexibility is the key to success in the modern market.