5. It is sustainable not going to the office
Electricity and heat production are responsible for 25% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. When staff decide not to go into the office, all the output for the office and public transport stays the same, but greenhouse gases increase due to the additional production of gas and electricity to heat homes or boil kettles.
6. Technology is the silver bullet for collaboration
In the first lockdown, we scurried to fill our calendars with never-ending video calls. Suddenly we were reliant on shiny, new technologies to keep us connected and collaborative. Without the proper training, however, the technology designed to help has become a hindrance – Zoom fatigue is through the roof and multiple platforms, all tracking your activity, have created a new type of digital presenteeism. In reality, technologies should allow employees to become more unsynchronised – working at a time that suits them, with performance measures based on output (rather than how many video calls they’ve attended, or Asana boards they’ve checked off).
7. My physical health is looked after when working remotely
The Institute of Employment Studies homeworking wellbeing survey reported that, in the first lockdown in the UK, 58% of people complained of new neck pain. We moved into home working with many still hunched over laptops. How you sit today will affect your body forever. You simply can’t be working from your bed or sofa for a whole day. When working remotely, we need to ensure that the monitor or laptop is at the correct height (eyebrow level) and that we are policing our postures to ensure we never slouch, keeping our heads directly over our spines.
People can be productive working elsewhere, but offices still provide value as on-demand resources for individuals and teams. To remain relevant, offices of the future will need to build culture and community, support individual focus, and facilitate intensive teamwork. The work from home experience is different for everyone. Companies should strive to help people stay healthy and productive, no matter where they are working.