In the age of the internet and remote work, there has been a significant shift towards digital communication and virtual collaborations. While this has undeniably brought benefits in terms of accessibility and flexibility, there are downsides to being too disconnected.
People increasingly find themselves lacking personal connections with colleagues, making it harder to build strong teams and foster collaboration. It is essential to bring people back into the office for face-to-face contact and interaction. In this blog, we explore why community is critical to effective teamwork and offer tips to encourage employees to return to the office.
First and foremost, community provides a sense of purpose and belonging that drives engagement in any team. People want to feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves and that they can make a difference. This emotional connection is much easier to establish in person than over email, chat, or video conferencing. When employees see the passion, enthusiasm, and dedication of their co-workers up close, it inspires them to do their best work and give their all to the team. When people recognize that their contributions are valued, it fosters a sense of pride and a desire to succeed as a group.
Secondly, working collaboratively in the same space drives creativity and innovation. When people work together, they can build on ideas in real-time and create synergies that are difficult to replicate digitally. The best brainstorming sessions happen when people are physically present, throwing out ideas, evaluating them, and modifying them based on feedback. Being able to bounce ideas off each other and brainstorm solutions together is invaluable. Additionally, building trust and information sharing is easier in person. Face-to-face conversation removes a lot of the misunderstandings that can arise from misunderstandings in digital messages.
Thirdly, returning to the office can make work feel like a more social and enjoyable experience. People enjoy seeing their colleagues, sharing food, drinks, and swapping stories. When people enjoy coming into work, it can boost morale and create a positive working environment. Employee satisfaction directly feeds into productivity, and a happy team is a productive one. Having a comfortable and engaging workspace can contribute to this. Therefore, investing in desk arrangements, break areas or brightening up the office with a fresh coat of paint can also make people appreciate coming into the office.
Fourthly, while remote work may seem like it caters to young families, many employees are starting to value the structure that office work can provide. The office offers a clear divide between work and home life, which can help reduce stress and maintain a better work-life balance. When people work from home, it can be difficult to switch off from work mode and not let it pervade one’s personal life. Therefore, an office can give people a welcomed sense of routine, reducing the pressure that can come from managing family and work responsibilities.
Lastly, it is essential as workplaces and companies return to a new sense of normality, whether it be hybrid part-time work or full-time work, they need to create a stimulating workspace. In the Bloomberg London Offices, they have incredibly innovative collaboration spaces for all their employees to use.
These spaces have been designed to provide a variety of work settings, from office to lounge areas to accommodate various work styles. Not only do the employees work better in a space that suits their needs, but it provides for a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. Thus, companies like Bloomberg can benefit from how people have more autonomy over their own surroundings, adding a sense of productivity, innovation and positivity towards office environments.
Getting people back into the office is essential for successful teamwork, creativity, and innovation. Personal connections and collaboration spaces are visible drivers of an effective team, so companies should look towards creating a workspace that encourages face-to-face interaction while also meeting various work styles.
Pioneers like Bloomberg London have exemplified the importance of providing a space where employees can come together and work together for optimal outcomes. Additionally, companies should be aware of the benefits of a structured work environment in providing a healthy work-life balance. Ultimately people want to work with people and building connections provides the cornerstone of a healthy, happy, and productive workplace.