Who needs an office now? - feelya

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Important information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The office at the post covid era
3 min read

What is the place of the office after Covid? Here is a very quick read on why we will still need an office in the post Covid world of 2021.

We have investigated engagement, well-being, and performance as part of our Covid Beating research programme. The evidence is pretty clear in indicating that the office provides some vital aspects of life. For this short piece, these points are necessarily general, but:

1. We miss the physical interaction of the workplace. Sharing a space, buying a coffee, swapping gossip as we munch biscuits, small talk, chance meetings, even walking with people to the bus stop. Online video platforms cannot offer these things. And they certainly can’t offer the beers after work with those people we like, but who aren’t close enough to fit into our circle of friends. In a word; we must have camaraderie.

2. The office is a place of resource. The society of others (above) is one such. But so is knowledge, stationery, instruction, sanctuary. Many need the division of home and work.

3. Identity. The adage that ‘work is what we do, not where we go’ has largely been exposed for the canard it always was. For many of us where we work, and those with whom we work, are tenets of our identity.

Working from home may be great. It may be convenient, save on the commute, on shoe leather, and frayed nerves. And may we carry on doing it, please?

Only not every day. Sometimes we need to go into town. Meet with Sally and David at work sit at our desk and catch up.

As Mr. Spock will tell you, humans are irrational, sociable animals. There may be nothing that they logically need to go into work for, but emotionally they still need to go. A home needs a hearth, a workplace needs a hub.

By Dr. Craig Knight