The Office – a new way of working

Hear about what our team has done to enjoy hybrid working

Being in the office again

This is part 2 of our new ways of working blog, what happens when we return back into the office after a long time away? Some of our team have returned to our office semi-regularly and others are attending client offices, so we have some team members in hybrid work environment. Many people enjoy having the balance and convenience of being able to work from home and having the option and ability to collaborate and go into the office environment for a change of scenery. It’s a great opportunity to find flexibility and create the best environment for you to do your best work, with your input and control.

Our team has put together some of our experiences from sharing office spaces at home and in the corporate office again after working remotely due to COVID impacts.

office environment

Sharing Spaces

    The new normal in many workplaces is a hot desk or shared working space, particularly if many employees are not coming into work as often. We use this in our city office as it’s a clever way to make the best use of the available space and still allows people to have their home office set up with all the equipment, they need day to day to work effectively. Having a social contract is a fantastic way to ensure everyone adheres to the same set of standards while sharing an office space or desk to make the office enjoyable and functional. Respect for Every Individual is one of our Operational Excellence Principles and should form part of your social contract, especially in shared spaces.

    Shared working spaces in an office

      How do you feel sharing spaces in a work environment now?

      I thrive with the in-person conversations, which are very important for collaboration. But remote working gives so many benefits like the ability to avoid the cold and flu when its in season, not to forget the extra sleep you get when you aren’t rushing for the parking at the train station!

      Tanu Parial

      QA

      I like working with people on projects in person, being able to have discussions, brainstorm or ideations to build out and plan is very rewarding in person. The ability to collaborate on certain tasks in person is second to none compared to being online. On the other hand, sometimes I just like silently working beside someone as keeps me accountable and more likely to stay on task instead of getting distracted and being unproductive.

      Olivia Fenton

      BSU

      I am extremely lucky as my home office has two desks.  This means I am used to sharing my home workspace with others – to a degree.  I probably share my home office once to twice a week.  This gives me enough incidental chat to feel connected; but still enough private space to feel productive.

      I am really concerned for my productivity in a shared office space.  I think through the lockdown we learnt new habits and became much more productive.  I would say I am more than 20% more productive at home now.  A recent study from Standford University (Jan 23) of 16,000 workers over 9 months identified that  saw “working from home increase productivity by 13%”.  I would agree with that statistic.

      Michelle Prosser-Roberts

      OE

      Shared working spaces in an office

      office environment

      Work Ennvironment

        Adjusting to an office after time away can be tricky. Taking the time to plan out what you may need is important as it could be the difference between a productive or nightmare of a day. Having headphones or ear plus, the right back support, comfortable footwear, water bottle can sometimes make all the difference. We take others into consideration if we have calls and meetings by going into a meeting room, instead of subjecting others to tune in. Adding some personal touches like greenery, your favourite tea and mug also help.

        The office environment is great for making new connections, especially when a new team is forming.  Brainstorming using whiteboards, learning together in the same room, these can generate new ideas.

        However, since these are not necessarily things we do all day every day, the work which needs sustained focus and concentration can be a bit difficult to do in the office.

        Hot desk environments make it difficult to feel “settled” – adjusting heights of the desk and chair, lighting, airflow, noise – all these can be subtle factors that keep you mildly stressed through the day!

        Tanu Parial

        QA

          How do you go in a work environment now that you are mainly used to working from home?

          I find myself quite distracted.  Once upon a time I could work regardless of what was happening around me.  I seem to have lost this super-power! I plan my day for the work from the office so that I have mainly catch-ups and conversations and less focus work. 

          Michelle Prosser-Roberts

          OE

          About one day a week I go into the city office or work from a colleague’s large home office set up. Both of these environments are a great chance to reset my thinking, plan different work activities to do and have a different kind of variety in my day. Both of these environments are set up to walk in, plug in my laptop and get started. One item I have found particularly helpful in both environments is a fidget toy to help me keep calm and focused when there may be other distractions going on around me. I often enjoy the break up of my day by going into meeting rooms, and getting up and about more in the office, working from home can mean the same 4 walls without much human interaction or mental stimulation.

          Olivia Fenton

          BSU

          The office environment is great for making new connections, especially when a new team is forming.  Brainstorming using whiteboards, learning together in the same room, these can generate new ideas.

          However, since these are not necessarily things we do all day every day, the work which needs sustained focus and concentration can be a bit difficult to do in the office.

          Hot desk environments make it difficult to feel “settled” – adjusting heights of the desk and chair, lighting, airflow, noise – all these can be subtle factors that keep you mildly stressed through the day!

          Tanu Parial

          QA

          office environment

          Conclusion

          Your preference to work in the office, from home or a mixture of both is ultimately up to you. Finding a job, employer, manager, and environment that facilitates, listens, respects, and helps you make that preference possible is a keeper. Employees now have a greater ability to make working work for them instead of fitting their lives around the mould of work. Creating spaces at home or in the office to get the most of your work day should be prioritised to get the best productivity and employee satisfaction on a day-to-day basis. The new ways of working post COVID are certainly making a significant impact.

           

          Read the firs part of this blog about our experiences working from a home office here.

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