The COVID-19 pandemic permanently changed how and where employees work, forever. The world over, our routines were turned upside down overnight — no more water-cooler conversations, casual encounters with co-workers in the elevator or coffee-talks and meeting-walks. Most of us thought this change would be just temporary, and very few of us could’ve predicted the impact this pandemic would have on the global workforce.
What surprised us most was that most employees reported feeling happier and more productive working from home. Which means…the workplace as we’ve traditionally known it no longer means very much to anyone. In fact, a survey done by WeWork in collaboration with Workplace Intelligence revealed that 75% of employees would give up at least one workplace benefit or perk for the freedom to choose their work environment and at least 50% of employees would prefer to spend 3 days a week or fewer in a corporate office. So, why invest in office spaces any longer?
We say — community.
While most employees desire the freedom to choose where they work, and feel happier and more productive at home — 79% still reported wanting to split their time between an office and remote working in a post-pandemic world. Let’s face it, few of us actually worked an ‘8 hour day’ in the office. But these spaces brought people together to connect, collaborate and congregate in ways no zoom call could replace.
Companies like Salesforce are leading the charge, showing the world what the office of the future looks like — creating ‘neighborhoods’ and opting for social spaces in-office instead of dedicated desks. Salesforce President and Chief People Officer, Brett Hyder said, “We have an opportunity to create a workspace and an employee experience that makes us even more connected, healthy, innovative and productive.”
Success can happen from anywhere. Good work can come from a desk at home, on the road or in an office — but the camaraderie and community feel that you get from having a coffee with a co-worker or whiteboarding together IRL can only happen when you’re in the same place at the same time.
At least that’s how we see it, and we’re excited for this future — where work is built around people — not the other way around.