Lifestyle

How the office can claim victory over the home

By many standards it has become more difficult for workplaces to attract employees looking to work on the company premises in recent years. But that does not seem to be true for all businesses across various industries and fields.

So it stands to reason that it should then be possible for the office culture to attract new talent, retain the current employees and more.

In this article we are looking at some of the reasons why people prefer working from home, as well as some of the things people appreciate by working in the office.

By understanding how people think about their workplace, it becomes possible to then ensure a pleasant work environment that fosters collaboration, personal interactions, and achieves high levels of efficiency and productivity.

Why some people are tempted by working from home

Let us begin by taking a closer look at why the idea of working from home is tempting to so many people, as this will help in understanding how to provide the same or better opportunities in the office or workplace in general.

Some people prefer to avoid certain personal interactions at the workplace, whether that be the casual lunchroom chat with coworkers they do not like, or micro-managing from mid-level management for instance.

An open office plan can at first glance seem to scare away these types of people, but studies have shown that not using assigned height adjustable desks people can freely sit next to those people who inspire them and can thus choose when to interact, and when to focus.

Another point that many people make has to do with the flexibility of their working hours. Being able to take a few hours out during noon to accompany their children to a sporting event can be a huge plus for many people.

Plus, not everybody enjoys working for 8 hours straight. Many people enjoy the option of breaking the work into smaller chunks, and recharging in between a session.

By adopting an office culture where flexible working hours are encouraged, it becomes much easier for employees to leave a few hours earlier for their dentist appointment, and then make up for that time later on for instance.

The things people miss out on when working from home

Next, let us examine some of the things that people report missing when no longer working in an office. This is interesting information as well, as some of these things can be easily addressed, while others can be worked around to some extent.

A clear balance and easy to follow structure

Many people working from home struggle with finding a healthy balance when having to schedule their working hours. Since they have to be their own managers when it comes to deadlines and projects, a certain level of self discipline is required.

While lots of people handle this relatively well, for some this can lead to late nights in order not to miss deadlines, and for others that means constantly waiting for other employees to finish their tasks before being able to continue, and many other issues.

Companies that offer their employees a well thought out office fitout design, for instance equipping them with noise canceling headphones, or providing a quiet area for those who need to focus intently, can expect to attract and retain more talent than those that do not.

A lack of focus

Studies have shown that it can be difficult for employees to fully focus and commit long hours into their work when at home, not just due to distractions from noisy neighbors, but also because of the mindset you automatically assume when entering the office building.

People can easily switch to working mode during office hours, and then switch into family mode once signing off for the day. This provides a fixed routine and structure for the employees, that many find fits their overall needs and lifestyle.

A sense of community and friendship

Another important factor to focus on, is the relationships we have cultivated, as well as the ones still waiting around the corner. Humans are a sociable species, and working from home can become isolating for many people.

By adopting a workplace culture that encourages personal interactions, for instance by designing recreational areas in the office, the company can hone in on this social aspect of humankind. It is healthy for our personal development, and can also be a great way to explore new ideas for new business opportunities.

A connection with management

Last but not least, many employees appreciate the opportunity of easily asking management a question about their task, as well as keep track of the upcoming workload and other things that naturally come up in real-life conversations.

Companies with easy access to managers see an increase in the number of people wishing to work on the premises. On the other hand, those businesses where management is all located on a separate floor from the workforce have a large portion of employees preferring to work from home.

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