In recent weeks, COVID-19 has changed a lot in our lives, both professionally and personally. Freedom and self-determination as well as the needs of the individual have faded into the background.
It is thanks to digitalisation that we can easily work from home, particularly right now. The boundary between the home and the office has become more fluid. Against the backdrop of the current global crisis, we are experiencing a stress test for the home office. Even though this is not taking place voluntarily, it turns out that working from home works in principle, but we are also realising the benefits of working in the office too. This will have an impact on the use of concepts and design of office space in the future.
Even before the pandemic, the office had to live up to our mobile and individualised lifestyles, support our personal "flow" and different work requirements – providing in part “tasked based working”. The home office is part of the catalogue of choices and is a possible retreat for concentrated work, albeit disturbing one's roommates instead of work colleagues. In view of this, the question arises as to how strong the proportion of retreat areas in offices must be in the future, if one can move home or to a third place at any time for concentrated work.
The weeks-long isolation also shows the first weaknesses of homework. The lack of personal exchange and contact becomes more apparent, and we are becoming more aware of the abandonment of our colleagues and fellow human beings day by day. It's like a diet: food takes on a whole new meaning, it tastes more intense and we appreciate it much more. We are also concerned with the "diet" of personal contacts. We all "miss" our colleagues and sometimes even the boss after a few days. For us, our work is more than social security. We meet people there with similar ideas and values and pursue common goals. Whereas for many the home office used to be the place of longing, now it is the office, a social place.
Places of encounter and communication gain in importance in the office. Because we have all become aware that as much as technology allows us to communicate right now, it is no substitute for personal encounters. Exchanging ideas with your neighbouring colleagues, and gaining input and inspiration from the outside, even when not asked for, really only happens spontaneously. The moment we have to use technology, spontaneity and immediacy are lost. New developments and creative processes fall by the wayside or are significantly slowed down. Especially when it comes to creation, strategy and the negotiation of complex content.
In addition, isolation has been shown to lead to anxiety, depression, stress, irritability, insomnia and emotional exhaustion. We are neither creative nor innovative when we are afraid and feel uncomfortable. Getting into performance mode requires a sense of security. A good office layout therefore conveys a feeling of familiarity in addition to the right processes and structures, and offers a feel-good place for every task. In the unpredictable times of a globalised world, offices, among other things, are a second home for people, providing security, belonging, and orientation. We want to be able to identify with our employer and our work – and the office is an essential part of the corporate culture.
#lovemyjob #missingmycolleagues #missingtheoffice #bene