Why we need to get back to the office

But not the one an hour away

The new normal is being promoted as we will all be working from home, saving the planet with our reduced or removed commute and never returning to our bad old ways of sitting tail to tail on the M4.

But what if, for many people, leaving the home to go to work is essential for their mental and emotional health?

Working from home blends the components of our lives into one block – it makes having structure a challenge and increases the opportunity to work outside of expected hours – and basically never switch off

Lockdown has made us consider how we manage our lives and what our priorities should be  - and maybe that two hours a day in the car has not been missed, and the office in your town that you can cycle to feels a lot more appealing.

Many of us working in tech were already working from home every now and then, were set up for remote engagement with slack groups set up and weekly google hangouts.

But let’s not judge those who love that commute, using it to listen to a podcast, relax to a much-loved album or to release the day ready for an evening with the family.

Many people benefit hugely from that defined break between the two segments of their lives – but if you don’t now is the time to look at making that change.

Lockdown has opened many conversations we should have always been having – how do we want to work, what motivates us from a working environment perspective and what structure do we need to feel valued, motivated and part of a team.

There is not a one size fits all, companies must become more empathetic, emotionally intelligent and have conversations we’ve never had before about what works for their individual team members.

And as an employee now is the time to be honest with what motivates you – there is no right or wrong answer, there is the balance that works for you, and that’s what we all need to find right now.

As an employer, you need to ask the question and be prepared for a lot of variations in reply – and think about how the lessons learned in lockdown can make your team stronger for the long term.

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