THE OFFICE is very much NOT DEAD
With the government launching their ‘back-to-work’ campaign this month, the debate on whether to return to the office has become a hot topic. Countless headlines have declared ‘the office is dead’. The office remains very much alive here in Altrincham – proving this is far too simplistic a generalisation to make.
The pandemic has seen thousands of us working from home, love it or loathe it, it has without question accelerated the demand for flexibility from workers and it isn’t hard to understand why. Working from the comfort and convenience of our own homes meant we didn’t have to do the daily commute to the office, we also got to decide how we structured our day which involved a daily dose of exercise, time in the garden playing with little ones, baking banana bread, mowing the lawn at 2pm……there was a lot about it that screamed “these are the halcyon days!” But was it really that rosy? The answer is a definite maybe. Don’t judge me, I love being a mum and there was so much about it that I enjoyed but I also love going to work and I couldn’t wait for the pace to pick back up.
My lovely mum & lovely daughter enjoying one of our ‘halcyon days’ at Tatton Park, Knutsford during lockdown
Getting back to work
When we were eventually given the go ahead to fully re-open there were concerns about hygiene and safety. I have to praise our customers here because they proved that they trusted us enough to just take care of it. They left us alone to get on with it all behind the scenes and have been supportive of all of our efforts. At this point I saw lots of serviced office providers being very reactive, racing to cover desks with perspex screens and zone off areas. For us, the guidance was forever changing so we didn’t adopt this short-term thinking, it was more a question of trust and a willingness to conform sensibly. With a measured approach we saw a very natural flow of people soon returning to http://www.worksmarthub.co.uk.
Office Space Providers have to Step Up
Office space is forever changing to keep up with demands and trends. The pandemic has seen many workers adapt to working from their lovely homes which brings MANY benefits and MANY challenges. Workspace providers will have to step up and pioneer their way around this as many workers are now looking for that same level of comfort, design and inspiration from a workspace as in their homes – anything less now will struggle to make the grade.
WorkSmart offers a home-from-home residential feel
Office Space Versus Working from Home
I do understand the desire to continue to work from home for those who have a laborious commute, but I also think there are so many positives that it just doesn’t bring. Where is that feeling of inclusion working at home in isolation? Alongside this, shared workspace allows a company’s culture to thrive, ideas to be shared and the opportunity to learn from others. It allows a different perspective and provides a different kind of energy compared to working from home. Coming into the office changes my mindset, it gives me a reason to pop on a nice outfit, it sets me up psychologically and I love the human interaction it brings. Nothing beats a face-to-face conversation or the social aspect of working in a physical workplace. There are days when I don’t have to be in the office, when I could work from home, but I choose to do my short commute as it gives me a sense of purpose that I just don’t get working alone at home, and I know that all of WorkSmart’s clients feel the same. We also work right in the heart of ALTRINCHAM which was crowned THE BEST place to live by the Sunday Times this year so why would we want to work anywhere else?
http://www.worksmarthub.co.uk prime location in the centre of Altrincham
For those who have adjusted well to the switch, there’s no reason the two can’t co-exist. I agree that flexible working must absolutely remain, city based working versus suburban based working is being revisited by lots of businesses, with many happy to remain in the CITIES THEY LOVE and others choosing to ditch the commute and work CLOSER TO HOME, however, many offices are still thriving, many are still huge drivers of the UK’s economy and I salute all the office space providers pushing forward with expansion – I hope to do the same.
Carla Wells, WorkSmart Hub, Altrincham