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The Increasing Call To Return To The Office

Since the dawn of time (the beginning of the first lockdown) there seems to have been endless conversation around the topic of whether people should/can/want to work from home or in the office. Before the pandemic, people went about in their merry way, not even considering the possibility that they wouldn’t have to leave their house to get work done. BUT times have obviously changed and over time it has been proven that it’s possible to be proactive in your pyjamas, without a fall in productivity.

Has it gone too far though? The progressive stance on the matter is that people should be able to work from where they want… but has this detracted from work cultures and office camaraderie?

For many employees, working at home can be a dream scenario. No time spent commuting and paying for transport, more time spent with family, and a better work life balance etc (you know them all by now). For a lot of others however, it is the opposite. For example, some business owners have spent a fortune on refurbishing office spaces and paying for prime locations to benefit their employees. Now that they aren’t being used, it appears to some those big investments have been wasted.

Similarly, Managers in a company may struggle to operate without face-to-face meetings with their teams or be able to organise as efficiently whilst remote working. Some employees may also just not work effectively from home and need an office working environment to be stimulated.

There are of course counterarguments to these points. Business owners could save money without the need for offices, good managers should be able to operate and manage teams wherever they are based, and many employees’ preference is to work from home. There is however still an increasing call for people to return to the office. 

Some organisations appear to have turned a corner on their stance and are requiring employees to come back into work rather than staying at home.

Perhaps the honeymoon period after the lockdowns has ended and people are abusing their ability to work from home in a non-productive/efficient way? 

Maybe employees felt aggrieved to not be seeing their friends and colleagues during lockdowns so being back in the office, in a social environment is a much-preferred choice for them?

There are ultimately a multitude of reasons as to why firms would want their employees back in the office and if the pressure to return is from all stakeholder sides, it would make sense to make the switch back.

Clearly every role, every organisation, and every industry is different. Certain jobs are far more suited to working from home than others and so it is very dependable on the kind of role you are in. People are also different. Whereas some people enjoy the hustling bustling nature of a lively office, others prefer to get on with their work individually without distraction. The trouble many companies have had in the post-lockdown era is finding a happy medium that is tailored to each employee and where they prefer to work. From conversations with professionals in the Infor space and with colleagues at work, the preferred option is often a mix of both, the best of both worlds. 

What’s your view on this? Do you think that we should be encouraging people to head back into the office, or do you still believe working from home is just as effective?