The question has to be asked – is working from the office an antiquated concept? Well, many organizations are requiring employees to return to the office, and these same employees are resisting this policy. The challenge is that many of the benefits of working from home are good for the individual, while many of the benefits of working from the office are good for the organization.
Now, we find that mandates rarely work; they oftentimes backfire on companies. However, what you as a leader must realize and understand is that there are many benefits to you, your team, collectively, as individuals, working in the office. So I’m bringing to you the three C’s of how the office actually makes your work life easier. So the first one is creativity. You know that creativity is essential for problem-solving, for innovation; good creativity, good innovation can actually mobilize and take an individual, a team, perhaps even an organization in an entirely new direction.
When working from home, the environment is more distracting than the office can be. And it’s simply because the home environment is in a different mental space. It is not set up necessarily to be just about work. Versus when you’re in the office, the boundaries are clear, the focus is clear. So you are allowed to have more of that intention around work.
Now, this creativity in the office isn’t necessarily you sitting behind the computer. It’s up while you are walking around, it could be even that you’re outside of the office building; but it’s all creating boundaries that this is your work time, and providing that space for creativity. In fact, when employees are inspired and feeling creative, they actually want to get up and go work with other employees, and it becomes more restricted when working from home. So the office environment provides opportunity for more creativity. The second C is collaboration.
It is, information sharing happens much more fluid than that, through short, informal conversations. So we are limiting the opportunity for collaboration in a remote environment, because nearly all conversations have to be scheduled or they’re happening over text, versus an impromptu conversation where maybe you’re walking to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and you notice a colleague is maybe struggling. Or you have a question and you can just jump up and reach out to somebody. So the opportunity for collaboration in more of an impromptu way and allowing stronger information-sharing absolutely happens in the office.
Again, through very short, informal conversations that are not scheduled, like work from home would have to be. So collaboration is your second C. And finally, number three is culture. Look, so much about culture is about feeling – how you feel about the organization, the company, the team that you work on. And it is simple fact that the feeling is more strongly generated when you’re physically near one another. It is much harder to have a physical-feeling connection through video, through a remote situation.
So by bringing people physically near one another, we are already generating that feeling of collectiveness. And when people are together, there is a sense of the same mission and the same purpose. The longer that you are separated from your colleagues, the longer you as a leader have your team members separated, the more distant that mission and that purpose becomes.
So we want to bring people together so we have a sense of a common mission, common purpose, and we’re generating that feeling, which is simply what generates a strong culture: creativity, collaboration, and culture. Those are the three C’s of how being in the office will make your work life easier.