By Matt Lambert, Project Architect at Award Winning Architectural Practice AHMM, who has been working from home since the lockdown on 23rd March 2020

While it is doubtless that Covid 19 has brought about fundamental technical advancement and significantly changed the way we work in a ‘non workplace’ environment, it’s easy to forget the things we’ve left behind at the office. 

Of course, the virus has forced a collective upsurge in digital communication and remote working, but has it also disconnected many from a vital source of social interaction? It may be that over the course of the last few months office-workers have started to enjoy the calm and quiet of working from home (child situation dependent perhaps!), but few can deny that there haven’t also been challenges along the way. 

So here are the top five reasons why we still think offices will continue to play a pivotal role in our world of work:

1) Social Interaction with colleagues:

Sometimes all we need is a walk, to take lunch with or have an after-work drink with a colleague. These interactions can provide much needed forms of stress release and comradery, which in turn plays an essential role in our overall mental wellbeing.

2) Face to face meetings with clients:

Whilst meeting via video conferencing is easy, meeting face-to-face builds stronger relationships, increasing trust and credibility, and is better suited to showing a client a product or service.

3) Team spirit:

Whilst tenacious independent working skills are key to successful home working, companies may find it harder to create and solidify their company culture; as company culture relies heavily on employees working in the same place and team-building. Employees are more likely to engage with their work if they feel meaningfully involved.

4) Quiet environment to focus:

As touched upon earlier, this depends heavily on family commitments, but a lot of people with children have found combining work with home schooling duties very challenging. An office, however busy, provides a space wherein in distractions can be minimised and focus can be maximised. 

5) Access to Office facilities:

Working from home has been challenging for some without access to print facilities, and internet connection speed has never been more important. Reliable facilities can be crucial when deadlines loom and stress levels need to be kept to a tolerable level.

Whilst it might be a challenge getting back to the office and into the guise of the ‘new normal’, it’s clear that we’re going to enjoy being back there when we do make the leap!

Matt Lambert 30-06-2020

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