Why the office needs to feel more like a coffee shop

While fears of a pandemic persist, businesses are beginning to adapt to COVID. They are requesting that employees report to work.

Indeed, the New York Times reported recently that the tech industry has already leased 76 percent more office space in the last three quarters of 2021 than it did in 2020, according to real estate firm CBRE.

Additionally, we’re seeing an increase in the inventiveness of office perks. Google’s California headquarters is reintroducing massages and gyms. Others, according to the Financial Times, are adding pet areas, nail salons, and rock climbing walls. However, are these efforts increasing their employees’ desire to return to the office physically?

For the last two years, the office has been largely imagined – and with employees being more productive than ever, many are wondering why they now need to return to pre-pandemic work styles.

That is where many people go wrong. Perhaps a pre-pandemic work style should not exist. Indeed, you may wish to eliminate that concept entirely from your associations with work.

The office’s new mission is to promote culture. It’s all about collaboration. So how can you ensure that when your team returns to your office for the first time, your efforts do not come across as a gimmick to entice them back?

Employees are purposefully retrenched.
Your primary objective should be to reassure your team that the flexibility they’ve grown to appreciate will not be lost. If you ask them to return to the office without communicating your expectations for their time there, they are likely to be upset.

At a time when workers are abandoning their jobs in search of new opportunities that align with their values – flexibility, pay, culture, etc. – no employer can afford to risk upsetting their team today.

Demonstrate hybrid is in your best interest
Don’t use a heavy hand to coerce your teams back into the office. Rather than that, encourage open communication with employees to demonstrate that you value their input and will ensure their occasional return to the office is in their best interests.

Determine schedules that are agreeable to all parties. Then cultivate an environment in which employees are free to make their own choices without consequence.

Remodel to accommodate a new work environment
Many are hesitant to return to work for health and safety reasons, but cafés are bustling with activity. Why is this the case? Most likely because café culture has become significantly more appealing than traditional office settings.

When you think of a café, you probably envision a cosy, inviting location. It’s where people congregate when necessary to accomplish tasks. This does not mean you must halve your available space. However, you’ll want to eliminate the majority of your desks. This belief was taken quite literally by me. My company’s New York office is technically capable of accommodating 100 people. There are only sixteen desks available!

Read more • hrmorning.com

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