Will the new office be an escape from home?

Will the new office be an escape from home?

If you’re working remote and getting the work done, why would you want to come back to the office?  Wouldn’t make sense, right?

This is something I have been pondering since the summer of last year. Many of us were settling into work from home. If you follow me, my company People Science, or anyone from our team, you may know that we are an HR talent consulting and outsourcing company.  Our clients are Human Resource Professionals. In the Summer of 2020, the popular conversations and webinars were all about “Moving Back into the Office”.

In returning to work post virus, one of the biggest hold-ups is the timing and possible extension of the pandemic.  But it’s also about “who” should have to go back into the office and “when” they should have to go back.

Say that ten times fast.  Better yet, try to figure it out.   

I’m making an educated guess – a prediction of sorts, that in the end, the most successful mixed work from home and office programs will be designed to provide relief from the stressors of working from home.

Think like going to a party at someone else’s house, or shopping but for ideas, or having conversations while walking around a downtown area.  In this new work office and office area you meet up with “work friends”.   I like that idea because I think it truly broadens your work friendships, and therefore connectivity, and therefore over-all productivity.

Under the old work rules, if you made friends at work, you had to be a bit careful.  How close were you going to get?  Come to my wedding close, or have a donut after a meeting close?

In the new combo of work from home/work from office, you don’t have to have the after outside of work get together.  Coming to the office is the get together. 

To be honest, as the CEO and leader of my company, I love the combination solution for more reasons than it feels good and to keep the gang together.  I am concerned having no place to gather as team will have a negative effect on our company as whole.

Why did IBM and Yahoo go back in house?

I have been trying to find some specific data on why.  Just a few years ago, IBM and Yahoo called remote workers back in house.  As I remember it, it was more about aligning teams.  Which makes sense and raises red flags.  What will be lost without in-person collaboration at least periodically?   

Just because I am concerned and even though I have great devoted staff. Seriously, I have a great talented, devoted staff. They need a good reason to come in to the office even if it’s only a few times a month.

How do you make coming to work desirable?

The only way to make it more desirable is to have a WFO. Work from the office (it’s a thing ok, I’m making it a thing). Relieve or solve employee’s issues with its sister WFH. 

So, what are WFH issues?  Claustrophobia (even post-pandemic), pets, laundry, kids, spouses, Amazon deliveries – the things you could do without for a day or two. 

What if the “new office” was designed to be the place to get away?

When things are over the top at home, you go into the office.  When you hit a creative wall, or burn out from service, you head into the office and meet up with your work buddies to have lunch, brainstorm, and figure stuff out.

So, I have decided that our new office space will be in a local small town, close to the beach (yeah, we live close to the beach) that has a quite but bright spirit about it.  I am thinking the staff will find it a good place to get away from managing the house, it’s many blessings, and sometimes trappings, and enjoy just focusing on work, it’s meaning, and on really good days – sitting along-side their screen mates.

I’ll let you know how we make out.

If you have an idea about the way the new world of work will look, please do share it. Leave a message in the comments or email me at christinen@people-science.com. 

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