Tuesday 15 December 2020
As this year draws to a close, we all dream of returning to normality. But having experienced so much change, what will normality look like for businesses moving forward?
2020 has seen the rise of the home worker. Some love the ability to work in their pyjamas; others are desperate to escape the distractions of home life. So, what really are the benefits of working in an office vs working from home?
For business owners, productivity is the big one.
For every person who feels more productive working from home, there is someone else who prefers the civility of the office. Does one really have a more positive impact on productivity than the other? Probably not. In reality, it is more likely that for each of us, we all find it easier to focus in different environments. Someone who lives alone may much prefer to work at home with fewer distractions, more so than someone whose house is filled with multiple family members.
Effective communication is vital to any company.
There can be a steep learning curve when it comes to communicating as a remote team. It’s essential that you have the right tools in place to allow your team to collaborate easily and efficiently. Fortunately, there are many options available now, from the humble email to Zoom, Slack to Microsoft Teams.
Working in an office can make communication between staff much easier. A quick question doesn’t require time put in the diary and discussing the status of work doesn’t mean a whole company meeting.
Face-to-face communication remains the preferred method of communication for the majority. It is much easier to onboard new staff and charm new clients in a professional meeting room, than over a screen.
And of course, Friday night drinks via Zoom are just not the same.
It might seem obvious that working at home would provide employees with a better work/life balance. More time at home should surely mean more time for a personal life, right?
Many see remote working as simply the easier and more flexible of the two. Without a commute into the office, you have more time in the day to run errands, walk the dog, and even enjoy a hobby. For parents, this can also make childcare less of an issue, which can be a huge expense and often difficult to arrange. This is, of course, a big bonus for employees.
But unfortunately, work/life balance isn’t always improved when not working in an office. It can be really difficult to switch off when your work and living spaces collide. Having your work laptop always within reach can mean that nothing really has to wait until morning and it’s easy to find yourself checking emails late into the night.
When considering working from an office vs working from home, the economy might not be the first thing that springs to mind. But 2020 has highlighted how our spending patterns are so reliant on where we work.
As many have moved to work from home, demand for office equipment has skyrocketed. Home improvement has also been at the forefront of our minds, with garden offices becoming increasingly popular!
However, it is also clear how vital office workers are for local businesses. Without lunchtime trips into town, many coffee shops and cafes are struggling. Of course, with a drive in Gloucestershire to support small businesses, many of our favourite local spots are still doing well, including the delightful Curious Cafe up the road from Eagle Tower and our very own ‘The Nest’ café.
All in all, there are pros and cons to both working in an office vs working from home and the benefits will be different for everyone. We feel that a balance between the two is the best way forward. The flexibility to work from home is so important, yet a physical office still provides many advantages for any organisation and its employees. As technology enables us to have more freedom and flexibility, face-to-face human interaction cannot be underestimated.
We may be biased, but there are many reasons why you should have an office in Cheltenham. If you’re considering relocating here, please do contact us to find out what Eagle Tower can offer, and how we can support you.