COVID19 has changed the way companies work with the largest ever shift toward home-working happening throughout 2020. Whilst some firms such as Google are taking a softly-softly approach by extending homeworking until 2021, many city businesses are bucking the trend as they recognise the benefits that the office environment has for their staff, their wider business community and themselves.
Boosting business and securing the deal
Taking the plunge and being bold in agreeing to face-to-face meetings can make a big difference in securing new clients or cementing relationships with existing ones right now. It’s a brave new world for everyone as businesses open back up. Those who can offer clients the reassurance of a familiar setting to seal mutually beneficial deals could steal a march on their risk-averse competitors.
Nurturing new talent and pooling ideas
Junior staff, especially in creative and collaborative industries such as marketing and architecture, also benefit greatly from the breadth of knowledge to be gleaned working alongside senior colleagues. In return, junior staff energise an office with their joie-de-vivre and a fresh outlook. This cannot be achieved as effectively via Zoom meetings, there is no substitute for face-to-face collaboration.
Staff can benefit from this interaction even in a socially distanced environment. If companies look at the space available to them and seek guidance and flexibility from their commercial landlords, they can quickly rearrange their space to accommodate more staff returning, with many firms offering next day delivery desks, hand sanitiser, screens and various other essentials to make that space safe.
Staff mental health and concerns
The excellent weather at the start of lockdown generated enthusiasm for homeworking, even amongst those juggling it with home-schooling, but despite children returning to school, or perhaps because of it, many staff now find the lustre of homeworking has worn off.
With many feeling isolated and anxious at home, there are equally many feeling genuine concern about returning to the office environment. Striking a balance between these opposing staff needs can be a challenge, but companies following guidelines from government and industry groups can meet that balance by taking advantage of the many businesses keen to provide the new items needed such as these next day delivery desks or cleaning companies offering deep cleans.
Those businesses showing leadership can reassure staff and get a head start on their competitors in these challenging times.