David DeQuattro

Back to it, the office that is! With the pandemic in our rear-view mirror, work forces are looking to move forward to begin their transitions back to what was once normal office hours and procedures.

This is no easy task however, as companies are being met with resistance from the workforces they employ. There is a “new normal” now that many people are used to, and this has led to push back when it comes to retuning to the office in person. It is understandable that people have become use to this new way of working. The transition to remote working opened a new world to people that allowed them to maximize their time throughout the day which best worked for them if productivity was still evident.

The reluctance to make a full return to the office now is seen as a burden upon the employees’ freedom and flexibility and limits how the individual can integrate a workday with all of the other personal health and wellness items which one may have been able to do during the remote working. Items such as schedule coordination with spouse and children, personal mental wellness checks, freedom to work from anywhere, and many more are all benefits for the individual which are lost in the return to in person 9-5 jobs. Not to mention the commute —nothing is worse than traffic at eight o’clock a.m.

The question has become “how can we incentivize and create an environment that encourages individual flexibility, corporate amenities, and productivity?”. Beyond introducing a hybrid schedule of days in and out of the office, expert business development professional David DeQuattro will explore additional solutions that can be implemented into your office to stir up the perceived stereotype of office working.

Understanding What Makes Working at Home so Desirable

David DeQuattro speaks to how there is a long list of items that make working from home desirable. Many of them relate to the idea of individual freedom and flexibility to work where, when, and how employees choose. Below is a list of items which David DeQuattro and his associates have found to be near universal when it came to benefits of working at home.

  • No expectations of dress code
  • No commute
  • Flexibility to balance work and personal life
  • Ability to work from anywhere
  • Less or no daycare needed
  • More time with family
  • Increased mental health
  • Thermal comfort and controllability
  • Access to kitchen (don’t need to bring lunch or find lunch)
  • Reduced wear and tear on vehicle
  • Can play music as loud as you want

It is understood the there is no comparison when it some of these benefits such as no commute or being able to work in your sweats, however, many of the other items can be addressed if we break the traditional sense of what is considered an office space. From there, we can begin to incorporate these items into the cooperate amenities that are offered for their employees. This not only will improve employee retention across industry, but it will also become a large draw for the types of people that the company really want.

The removal of personal offices and cubicles in favor of a space that has a multitude of flexibility (from scheduled conference rooms to individual breakout and small group pods that can allow for better focus) is a proposed change that has seen some traction in US offices. Freedom from “your desk” and “you chair” to choose where and how you work, having the flexibility to control the temperature freely as if you were home is another item that can be implemented through a series of zones with individual controllability. If your employees are comfortable, it has been proven in various studies that they will work more effectively and longer without being required too.

Financial Impacts as a Driving Force for Workforce Reform

Taking a step back and looking at all the financial impacts that going to work may have on an individual can give us insight into additional amenities that can ease the transition back to office life. Not having to pay for childcare, commute time and wear and tear on transportation, or access to onsite food and drink can be huge for improving the financial reality of working adults. This is especially the case as childcare and transportation costs such as gas can be quite high.

Although some may say that these items are part of having a job and do not technically fall under the responsibility of the employer, if amenities that cover such items are offered it allows for that flexibility and freedom that many people were able to find from home. This, in turn, will make your company much more desirable to existing and new employees. Other amenities that are becoming normalized are access to gyms and workout facilities with associated showers and lockers rooms. This ensures that employees do not have to travel from place to place for their exercise needs, helping the individual’s ability to balance work and personal life without wasting needless time between destinations.

Balancing the Needs of Employees for the Future of Office Life

With all these items identified that can and should be incorporated into the standard needs for an office in the 21st century, it will be most evident that it would be in the interest of individuals would increase provided that there are introductions of biophilic and natural design elements within the spaces. Employees would then be beneficiaries of the updated and upgraded office life.

This new office model would include additionally benefits for the employee that are not available through at home remote working. Items such as onsite seamless access to infrastructure and support as needed for project development and coordination, collaborative working platforms that allow for transparency for all employees needing spaces for meeting and group development, etc. are just a few examples. Another item that is vital to employee development and growth is the physical interaction and communication between individuals. This is something many of us missed during the height of the pandemic.

In short, the idea would be to make the transition from you daily “pandemic” work life to regular work life a seamless and enjoyable change that addresses the various needs of employees.

Benefits Overview of Working Remotely and In-Person

Benefits from Home

  • No expectations of dress code
  • Food when you want, options
  • Gym and shower
  • Comfort of temperature
  • Comfort of area working, seat desk, outside
  • Can pick up kids from school
  • No daycare
  • Schedule flexibility (can work early, or late not typical 9-5)
  • No commute
  • Less distractions, more focus and interruption
  • Shows trust from employer
  • Balance of work life and personal life
  • Creates independence
  • Time management skills
  • Meetings are primarily held only for business
  • Reduced social anxiety
  • Increased mental health
  • Scheduled meeting for better management of projects
  • Collaborative working platforms
  • Virtual social team building

Benefits of Working from Office (for Employee)

  • Potential to take advantage of corporate amenities
  • I.e. Childcare
  • Food
  • Commute compensation
  • Gym memberships
  • Access to multitude of resources for support
  • New and updated office environments that promote worker health and wellbeing
  • Areas for collaboration, focus and communication

Benefits of Working from Office (for Employer)

  • Oversite of employees with a collaborative environment
  • Increased worker efficiency
  • Overall productivity with correct programs in place
  • Employee time dedicated at work environment
  • Business’s identity is maintained
  • Visions can be instilled
  • Opportunities to rapidly move from project to project
  • Strengthened teams
  • Vertical interactions with people above you
  • Employees seeing the overall interactions within the business and transparency
  • Employee comradery
  • Benefits overall growth and future of company
  • Company days – i.e. potluck, fun days, etc. employee engagement
  • Ability to passively training next generation of owners