Hear ye, hear ye: We’re making a case for working from an office (or at least considering it)

Working from home. There are undeniable perks whether you’re a one-man band or part of a 50-plus corporate. In fact people feel so strongly about it that when Dettol released an ad in the UK trying to glamorise (albeit it badly) heading back to the office, Twitter erupted and the ad was cuttingly rewritten.

But, and it’s a big but, despite the perks of WFH (this is what the cool kids are calling it) there is still a strong case for working from an office. We’re not talking about the cattle-style desk-on-desk-on-desk set up, but the well-thought out, ergonomic, visually and spatially pleasing space that puts employees (and their health) at the centre. And here’s some research to back it up.

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Physical environments impact performance – your workspace specifically

Employee well-being, and productivity and performance go hand-in-hand. And, unsurprisingly, the biggest role player in that well-being is an employee’s physical environment. In research published in the Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, employees actually felt things towards materials used in the make-up of their workspaces: Wood was “beautiful” and “vivid” while linoleum and plastic flooring was consistently described negatively. You can even increase positivity and physiological restoration through an office environment. How? Windows that let the light in, real plants, comfortable furniture and high-quality furnishings (in case you were wondering, those diamond-studded side lamps are worth the splurge).

Now you might argue that surely a home has all these things, so your happiness, productivity and general mental space should all be in tip-top shape. But that’s not always the case. Working from home blurs the boundaries between work and family which means adjusting to and juggling work-life balance becomes more challenging. Not only that but in a study conducted using 45 interviews and three focus groups with working-from-homers, ‘symptoms’ of the WFH lifestyle included loneliness and lack of self-esteem and motivation. It’s also too easy to wake up at 6am and start working in your dressing gown, not taking a breather until your body’s primal drive screams for a shower. The number of hours spent on work in a work-from-home setting is also reported as increasing the likelihood of familial problems.

Creativity, innovation and team cohesion also take a knock when you work from home. You’re sorely lacking in collaborative opportunities despite the best efforts of your two miniature poodles.

By fulfilling your basic needs, an office environment can improve your work life

You might not think it, but an office can actually improve the quality of your work life (like your at-work – and after-work – mood for example). Here’s how:

We all have basic needs when we’re at work like…

  • Wanting to feel like part of a team.
  • Wanting to be the one in control of how you work e.g. going it alone or getting Tom from finance to muck in, and how it feels when you work.
  • Wanting a zen space to regroup when your inbox hits capacity.

These needs can be ‘serviced’ by your office space if it:

  • Provides formal and informal meeting spaces – simple.
  • Gives you a room with a door you can close and an aircon you can adjust on top of a chair you can whip out when you hear Tom’s tentative knock on the door.
  • Gives you a room with an outdoor view, softer lighting and free from the mechanical chomping of the printer.

These are just some of the basic needs we have but the more needs an office space can fulfil in terms of its design, décor and general vibe, the happier a camper you (and your staff) will be, which equates to improved well-being, productivity and performance. See, we’ve come full circle.

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To office or not to office

We’re not saying don’t work from home (the average ideal work-from-home time has been described as one and a half days per week) but we are saying it’s important to recognise the value of working in a well-structured and designed office space; one with the privacy employees need (which boosts job performance), the open plan when they feel like the spontaneous powwow (which helps them collaborate and fosters a sense of ‘organisational mission’), and one that allows the freedom to move around and find their flow. During this time, office spaces that provide multiple work areas also allow employees to work how they’re comfortable – away from other people or side by side, mask on.

It’s also worth mentioning that unique design features are often highly appreciated and important to employees’ environmental satisfaction. That wall-mounted vintage typewriter –once your proudest at-home ‘design feature’ – starts to lose its lustre after you’ve seen it every day for the last 10 years.

Giving employees the opportunity to work in a dedicated space and, even better, a space offering multiple modes of working (alone, two-by-two, in a group) is a strategic investment even now, and one worth exploring.

At Office & Co. we have all types of workspace available for businesses big and small. With ergonomics and aesthetics a top priority, our spaces fulfil basic work needs on top of providing an environment employees love being in (all while being COVID compliant). Explore our office space in Joburg and Cape Town today.

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Please complete the form below and we will get back to you soonest. We look forward to discussing your office space requirements.

Johannesburg

Tel: +27 11 267 0500

Email: info@officeandco.co.za

Cape Town

Tel: +27 21 140 0700

Email: info@officeandco.co.za

Johannesburg

Tel: +27 11 267 0500

Email: info@officeandco.co.za

Cape Town

Tel: +27 21 140 0700

Email: info@officeandco.co.za

Please complete the form below and we will get back to you soonest. We look forward to discussing your office space requirements.