The return to the office still proposes a big ‘question mark’ with organisations and employees weighing up the ‘pros and cons’ on ‘should we’ or ‘shan’t we.’ We all know that the future of offices and overall ‘office life’ is going to change dramatically but what effect does all this have on us as humans individually and personally.
We have been conditioned for as long as we can remember to have a life of routine, to work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday fitting our personal lives around work commitments and often prioritising our workload by staying back late to meet deadlines. Since lockdown there has been an obvious shift in people's priorities. The lockdown period gave everyone the opportunity to finally reset, reflect and reevaluate their lifestyles and think about what truly makes them happy. For many this meant coming to the realisation that traveling to and from work took up a good hour to 2 hours out of their day. This is vital time wasted that could have been spent elsewhere more efficiently; perhaps taking care of themselves, meditating or getting some exercise.
Another realisation was that productivity levels increased along with people feeling happier working from home, mostly due to having more sleep and extra time to spend with their families. It is clear that a flexible work approach is here to stay with remote working being implemented across the board. On the other spectrum lockdown has had to force organisations to make difficult decisions including staff redundancies. For these individuals the lockdown experience has been that of an anxious and even more uncertain reality. A chance to have to rethink a career path; for some it meant a great opportunity to explore new avenues and for others just devastating.
According to the Covid-19 Mental Health research from Qualtrics appears that there is a 50/50 split in the positive and negative impact that Covid-19 has had on the nation. The statistics show UK workers top five challenging parts to working from home are:
1. Feelings of social isolation (32%)
2. Finding it harder to focus (30%)
3. Feeling less motivated (25%)
4. Encountering too many distractions (24%)
5. Feeling less productive (22%)
The top five pros to working from home include:
1. Saving time on commuting (53%)
2. Saving money on commuting (46%)
3. Being able to wear what they like (29%)
4. Having a more flexible schedule (27%)
5. Feeling more productive (18%)
To say the least we have all been affected by the implications forced upon us from the Covid-19 outbreak the list of pros and cons above are a generalisation as all of our circumstances vary - to one a ‘pro’ may seem like a ‘con’ and vice versa. It all depends on external stressors such as debt, and the all important perspective, half full half empty etc.
For example as mentioned above to have been let go from your company due to the implications of Covid-19 may be an absolute blessing and give you the motivation to pursue and find your passion. On the other hand extremely devastating to one that may have worked so hard to have secured their dream job for it to crumble out of their control. It all comes down to perspective on how you act and see yourself in the world...does everything happen for a reason? Or is everything against you? In order to emerge stronger from this pandemic the focus should be on self-awareness, positive mindset, valuing your time and overall maintaining personal health and wellbeing.
In summary the world's biggest remote working experiment has thrown some interesting results and we will see a big shift in how companies and their spaces adapt to capitalise on the productivity or lack thereof of their people.
Whether you are downsizing or setting your space up for a staggered shift capacity we are always here to help and get you back to being happy and productive in your space.
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