Author: Neil Griffin, Innovation Director
The Office is not dead, it’s just more flexible.
Thanks to the recent working from home message and an increase in remote working, the whole world is talking about the death of the office. Some views are that no one wants to go back, with some even saying that there’s no point going back. My view is you’d be wrong. The office is in fact very much alive – and vital for future success both personally and for your business.
Let’s get this out the way I have a vested interest here, I work for a company that provides workspace for start-up companies, but I can look objectively if you can 😊. I see interactions daily across a range of companies, so I think my insight is in some ways justified.
Here are the 6 reasons I think Offices will have a vital role in overall business success, especially in collaborative workspaces:
- Driving Innovation
Innovation is one of the only true competitive advantages companies can have. But Innovation is also messy, it needs some structure and rigour to truly succeed, and I haven’t seen a platform or app that can do this effectively yet. Venturing back into the office makes driving innovation and getting projects done well and on time much easier.
- Collaboration and Creativity
Being in an office is great for communication and collaborating. Working from home 1-2 days a week can be good but having a central place for creativity, innovation, and social interaction won’t be going away anytime soon. Telling people they need to be creative and spontaneous at 3pm after back-to-back meetings all day online doesn’t work. It also helps to be able to move around a space and not be chained to a desk, that is where inspiration can strike.
- Leadership by Osmosis
Apart from Finance, Leadership is the key driver for business success. Where better to learn from someone than in real-time, to listen and engrain good practices to future Leaders.
- Building networks for a network effect
People use all 5 senses, and the key is to engage with all of them as much as possible, that gains traction, advocates but above all builds Trust and Influence. The way business used to work was very much a command-and-control approach, ‘I say you do’. Now, it is much more about liaising with other departments, partners, and suppliers to get a network effect to make things happen. The real winners are enablers who can network well for their own advantage.
- Best practice/Training
If you want new starters to pick things up quickly and to the standard, you expect, train them in a physical environment like an office. In an office, people pick up the informal and intangible rules of engagement fast. When working remotely it’s not even clear what your working hours should be, they get so far blurred with other things distracting you
- Personal success
For Personal success my view is this, flexible working is good for productivity, shock! But it also makes you less visible and if you aren’t visible in all walks of life that is a problem. Especially if you want to learn or move up in a business. Don’t underestimate the value of being ‘physically present’ with your boss, you will get information that you otherwise wouldn’t at home, it’s just human nature.
- Wooden Dollars floating around
If you are collaborating and networking the likelihood, is you are doing favours and vice versa. That in turn will keep costs down, which means the money is floating around in some kind of invisible ecosystem. In a hub like ours, multiple companies work together with those wooden dollars circulating and never leaving the physical building.
But there are benefits from working from home, right?
Sure, it does depend on what industry you are in and your character. If you are a real Introvert and also a Software designer working from home and being ‘plugged in’ can work wonders for you. But it’s not that good for you, and I mean physically and psychologically, you need balance as with everything in your life.
Using virtual tools will cut down on unnecessary travel and unwanted meetings plus actually provide more contact remotely which is great for productivity and the environment.
Nothing dies it just evolves
Let’s face it Hybrid working is here to stay, but so are offices, they will be more flexible, used less but have more impact than they did before.
The industry will certainly need to adapt and big offices with high rents are not the future and centres like ours will adapt in the short term and potentially long term for the benefit of the customer.
Every business regardless of where their ‘office’ is will need to way up the value of having one, but I still think it adds credibility to your business, as well as providing greater opportunity to progress the business quickly and more sustainably.
At the Innovation Centre Knowledge Gateway we are more than just office space, we can help you grow your business and help you collaborate with other businesses and the right organisations. If you are interested in having a tour and seeing what we are all about, please contact us at email@example.com or 01206 405 500 for Coworking, Hotdesking and Private Office space to rent.