One of the inevitable outcomes of the coronavirus crisis is that office workers up and down the country have left their desks and are now working from home. In PR and marketing, we’re lucky that as long as we have a laptop and internet access, we can do our jobs pretty much anywhere and at Active Profile, we’ve embraced a flexible working policy for some time now. However, there will be many out there whose company is offering home working for the very first time.
This has led to some speculation and conversation around where that leaves offices in a post-coronavirus world. For those who have now proven that their jobs can be done at home, will this now become the new normal? Will we all be so used to this new way of working that we won’t want to go back?
Personally, I don’t think this is the end for the office. Yes, I can do my job from my couch (and have been for several days now) but that doesn’t mean I want to all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love that we can work flexibly and choose where is best for us to work so that we can service clients to the highest standard whilst still retaining a balance in our personal lives, but balance is the key word in all of this.
If flexible office space was ‘having a moment’ before all this, then it certainly will be once we start to get back to ‘normal’. New and newly refurbished offices are being designed to cater to an increasingly flexible workforce and this current situation will have many considering how they can introduce different spaces within their core office to enable colleagues to work in a more agile way. The days of being chained to one desk, and one desk only, are numbered if not already gone.
However, if there’s one thing that this crisis has taught me, it’s that the team element and interaction of an office environment is so integral for team and personal moral. We’ve been keeping each other going with regular ‘Brew Zoom’ video calls, Slack messages and sharing positive news articles and photos (yes, that means a lot of dog related content) but without it, it would be so easy to feel disconnected.
Although technology is a massive help in ensuring we can still deliver for clients and keep in touch as a team, having everyone together in one place can’t be beaten. We’ll be riding out this crazy storm at home for however long it lasts, but I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to returning to the office and getting everyone back together for a brew when it’s all over…