The problem is that although most office workers are currently working from home, they still work in an office-centric manner.
Most of our work practices are based around location: when we work, where we work, how we work. Worse is that these practises were designed decades ago. The pandemic has given us the unique opportunity to question these structures.
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The pandemic normalised remote working, and despite the fears of most organisations, there was no demonstrable loss of productivity.
Now, the global workforce wants to retain increased flexibility as societies open up again. Yet, many organisations are resisting this more flexible future. They argue that employees' wellbeing is compromised by remote working, for example, Zoom fatigue.
The outdated, office-centric work designs are making us tired. We are working within systems that are not built for our current environment. Reverting back to the office full time is also not the answer.
We need to stop designing work around location and start designing work around human behaviour. Data shows that employees will work better, stay at their organisation longer and keep healthier.
It’s widely known the pandemic has made many people re-evaluate their working lives. Employers are well aware, and many are scrambling for new ways to retain employees. One technique for those companies who want to lure their people back is to promise them a more enticing workplace
But people working at home have managed just fine – and remained productive – without free coffee and massages. Many are also less stressed. But the downside of homeworking, for some, has been the isolation, or juggling work around family duties or housemates. So, a tempting office will be one that is an extension of your home, but without the chaos, offering an environment, social atmosphere or technological provision that can’t be found elsewhere.
As the pandemic required employees to work remotely, one of the most striking changes was increased worker's autonomy. Many people became used not to have a boss looking over their shoulder or watching their every move.
A more autonomous environment meant employees could control where they sit or how they prioritise tasks. They could intersperse life activities with job activities. But, as the world returns to the offices, employees are expected to give up some of that control.
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