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Do we need to keep our office spaces?

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 Are offices still important for the workplace?

This is a topic which divides us all. 

Having proven work-from-home days can be more efficient and productive than days spent in the office, are offices still important for the workplace?

Here's my list of some of the pros of keeping offices:

•    The workplace has evolved since the pandemic. Offices are vitally important for connection, collaboration, and innovation.
•    The office provides the opportunity to mingle, talk to your colleagues, share ideas, reinforce company goals and culture and check in on each other.
•    Being around people is good for us – there are dangers to our mental health if we feel too isolated working from home.
• Office-based days allow us more separation between work and home life – physically leaving the office at the end of the day allows us to mentally switch off, further reducing stress and anxiety.
•    Offices reinforce workplace standards and expectations.
•    For some, office-based working can provide less distraction than working from home (especially if you are not able to set aside specific ‘office’ space at home, or have children or pets)

Here  is my list of some of the cons of keeping offices:

•    Businesses may be paying unnecessary rent and utility costs (which continue to rise) for underutilised office space – these costs may impact future bonuses/pay rises in our current economic climate. With demand for flexible office space now back to pre-pandemic levels, the need for coworking space continues to grow. Switching to this type of office space may reduce overheads and also ensure a happier workforce
•    The number of days you ask your team to come into the office can be a major factor in their job satisfaction (and a cost consideration). A 2022 survey by Cisco of over 28,000 employees found that 82% said the ability to work from home has made them happier, and 55% said that such work decreased their stress levels.
•    We reduce our carbon footprint by spending fewer days in the office.

I believe that offices are still important for the workplace. Businesses able to find the right balance between work-from-home and office-based days will see both business and employee benefits.

People’s thoughts and experiences of this will and do vary.

What’s your opinion? Do you think offices are still important for the workplace?