It goes without saying that the basic fabric of business working practices have been exposed to an intense culture shock as a result of the world’s efforts to respond effectively to the threats of the Covid-19 pandemic. What was once an ingrained ‘9 to 5’ ‘to-and-fro’ timetable has been adapted into a now fluid and adaptable world that embraces video conferencing, desktop sharing and cloud based collaboration.
On one hand, this new world has perhaps spurred many into embracing the efficiencies that new tech practices have to offer, but on the other hand now that world looks set to return to an albeit ‘new’ normal, we think it’s beneficial to remember what it is that absolutely works when a team is consistently exposed to the traditional working environment of an office – to put it simply, there’s far more going on in a successful office space than just water-cooler gossip and coffee-station chatter.
So, just what is it that makes a good office so effective? These are the four main things that we believe make all the difference.
Whilst it’s been proven that we can work remotely during the great Covid work-from-home experiment, what has also been very apparent and is top of the list for the ‘challenges’ remote working presents, is collaboration. Any quick google search will show that trying to develop remote practices that spur the same kind of serendipitous ‘eureka’ moments that we had previously experienced during face-face brainstorming sessions has proven difficult. When it comes to the development of ideas and projects, the very nature of occupying the same space leads to a far increased quality of workflow and innovation.
Another prime issue that has arisen from the ‘age of remote’ is that of quality of cooperation, and more specifically the hugely important resource born from it, trust. Time spent together at the workplace, both professionally and socially, creates working relationships with a more solid bond than anything that can be achieved online.
“Trust is built by spending time together, not necessarily around work-related tasks,” says Scott Schieman, chair of the department of sociology at the University of Toronto’s St George campus. “We form and sustain social bonds this way, expressing verbal and nonverbal communication in ways that convey understanding, empathy and shared concern. There’s no way endless Zoom calls can replace the depth and quality of in-person human interaction.”
Where you work and quality thereof is very important and for one major reason, health. Primarily, the sedentary nature of remote working has already been proven to lead to a reduction in daily exercise, an increase in fatigue and reduced levels of concentration. Being surrounded by an inspiring and healthy environment, such as Fenham Hall Studios with its historic setting and lush gardens, by proxy gives opportunities to experience nature and clean air, which in turn results in increased productivity and effectiveness.
On top of this, adding a healthy commute to work, be it walking or cycling, is proven to greatly improve overall physical health as well having huge benefits for mental health – again improving overall productivity.
The simple practice of leaving your house every day and being in a non-isolated environment is a huge psychological improvement over the situation of remote working from home for long periods of time.
In almost all professions in the modern business world, the development of a professional operates around something referred to as the 70:20:10 model for learning. In other words, 10% of our learning is born from formal education, 20% from direct training whilst working with others, whilst the lion’s share, 70% of what forms us into the ‘finished article’, is via osmosis learning – the experiences we gain by being surrounded by other professionals, the exposure to working practices, conversations and habits of the workplace.
None of which can be simulated in a virtual world. In other words, just turning up at the office and working with others contributes to almost three quarters of your professional development.
Overall, it’s clear to see that despite the apparent effectiveness of remote tech solutions that have been discovered during the covid lockdowns, they are no substitute for the overall experience and benefit of an office environment.
We currently have two Studio A (1,234 sq. ft) and C (1,128 sq. ft) available at our historic Fenham Hall Studios location. Each office is fully self-contained with its own kitchen tea prep facilities etc and its own individual reception area. Each office will benefit from 100% small business rates relief. For further details and downloadable brochure please click the link below.
Click here for further information . N.B. Studio A can be let separately from Studio C each is likely to benefit from 100% small business rates relief when they are rated (currently rated as one)