The role of the office in the new pattern of flexible working Image

The role of the office in the new pattern of flexible working

12 April 2022

The role of the office in the new pattern of flexible working

12 April 2022

Article by Ken McInnes, Office Agency Partner at Ryden

As we finally begin to move beyond pandemic restrictions, we are all reflecting on how great it is to see most of us now settling into a renewed pattern of flexible working.

There is no doubt that a mix of office based and home working can yield strong benefits for individuals with the optimum percentage mix dependent upon the individual concerned.

Some prefer the office based environment, enjoying the break that the commute to and from work provides, keeping work/home barriers in place. Being in the office allows staff to feed off colleague interaction, discuss projects and even allows the opportunity for the odd lightbulb moment of serendipity when new solutions arise through team collaboration.

At the same time, work-life balance is a crucial aspect of any healthy working environment. It helps prevent burnout and relieve stress. Employees can structure their day to organise tasks such as dropping off kids at school or going to a doctor's appointment when they work from home, leading to better focus, effectiveness and performance when they're working.

In my opinion, it is hard to retain corporate culture and core values without co-worker interaction. Our purpose and shared goals disappear, and so can motivation if we are left alone at our kitchen table. So whilst I see the benefits of working from home, my biggest concern, particularly for permanent long term home working, is the potential for human isolation with a decline in wellbeing so easily setting in.

For me, the message is clear. Find a working balance that is best for you. Even if it's part-time, we must be aware of the social and business benefits of working face to face in an office. As human beings, we need that personal interaction.