By James Greetham founder Sprung Collective
Why the office is so essential as video conferencing (VC) proves impossible for teams to build trust, culture and creativity?
It’s no surprise that the last 12 months have been phenomenally tough for so many people’s jobs, careers, businesses and working environments. As we slowly emerge out of these oppressive but necessary restrictions and see a return to the office in sight, the real questions are, should we be fearful of what’s to come as businesses consider the options, as well as asking the honest question of have they seen an increase in productivity while employees have worked happily from home in their pyjamas?
To give it some context, pre-pandemic showed that on average of only 5% of employees working week was from home; unsurprisingly this number has now risen to well over 70% of people working week undertaken from home.
Working from home for some has had the obvious pros and cons. Still, I firmly believe that returning to the office has such an essential part to play for most businesses, not only to drive productivity but also to drive some of the most important parts of any business and that’s its creativity, culture and trust.
Businesses have finally realised that giving employees the flexibility to work from home to undertake specific tasks does not decrease productivity but also realising that bringing employees and teams together has a vital part to play in supporting a business’s culture, creativity, and trust.
For all the positives we should give to the VC world over the last 12 months, we also underestimate how stifling it can be to the importance of creativity. Can you honestly say that you have had a positive brainstorm meeting via VC? My personal experience is that having to put your virtual hand-up completely defeats the objective of spontaneity and creativity.
I’ve also heard many stories over the last 12 months of people who’ve moved into new management roles and have never physically met any of their team. This scenario is a huge challenge, as we all know that one of the biggest requirements for any manager is to build and earn trust with your team, and the VC environment just doesn’t cut it.
To answer the initial questions, I think there’s absolutely no reason to be fearful of what’s to come with the impending return to the office. Businesses have finally realised that giving employees the flexibility to work from home to undertake specific tasks does not decrease productivity but also realising that bringing employees and teams together has a vital part to play in supporting a business’s culture, creativity, and trust. All of which are equally essential in building and growing a sustainable business on many levels
At Sprung Collective, our role is to support and advise its clients in discovering the true potential that food and drink has in reimagining spaces to not only deliver an amazing working environment but one that initiates productivity, fosters trust, amplifies the importance of culture, and creates the opportunity for all to be creative.
The Holy Grail of seeking the perfect work-life balance may be about to be enjoyed by all as the realisation that the office is required for so much more than to drive productivity.