Reasons Why The Office Really Does Matter

The workplace propels innovation and growth, fosters a sense of community and culture, and provides the tools and resources that people need to be truly productive. Being able to gather people at a physical location has countless benefits for an organization.

Below are the reasons why having an Office really matters:

1. Development

The post-COVID economy has introduced a season of survival for businesses, but the pivot back to growth will occur soon. Growth comes from innovation, which is fueled by creative people collaborating on design sprints, prototyping and testing. As leaders shift and change strategies, meeting rooms and in-person business meetups are a place to establish key priorities, rally around a vision, and set the tone for growth.

2. Inventiveness

Successful innovation involves a variety of business functions, issues, and actions from adjacent or connected organizations. Workplace design fosters these connections and promotes innovative activities such as building models, sharing content, testing prototypes, iterating in real-time, collecting annotations and ideas, and building on the collective efforts of the team. Two-dimensional technology can't move the needle like three-dimensional interactions.

3. Culture

Behavioural patterns over time are shaped by experiences. Collective behaviours and norms of an organization, from both leaders and employees, form an ethos unique to that group. Different points of view colliding, spontaneous hallway conversations, and lunch with coworkers are all opportunities for storytelling, relationship building, and teaching that can't be replicated by a screen.

4. Adaptability

COVID-19 has proven resilience is more critical than ever. To shift gears and resources to support unexpected disruptions, an organization needs a strong culture and a space that promotes in-person decision making. Leadership that is strong, decisive, and healthy is the foundation of an innovative, flexible, and resilient workplace that can bend but not break.

5. Imagination

The ability to generate ideas, solve problems, identify opportunities and imagine something better is an innate and unique human characteristic. In contrast to a siloed, stilted, solo experience lacking the right tools, creativity flourishes when technology and space work together to support every stage of the brainstorming process.

6. Collaboration

Collaboration, a place-based business behaviour, is directly related to growth and innovation. By leveraging each other's ideas, brainstorming with sticky notes, and involving others in discussions and whiteboarding, creative concepts can be refined, refined, and solidified. When not in person, body language and other unspoken behaviours provide social cues that can easily be missed. There is no room for serendipity when every meeting begins and ends on time.

7. Transforming digitally

Before COVID-19, companies did not think about digital transformation. Now they do. Organizations face a range of disruptions, both internal and external, domestic and global. New business models are being launched, war rooms are being established, and team rooms are being equipped with a bias towards face-to-face interactions. In times of stress and crisis, there's no substitute for getting together and addressing, assessing, and resolving problems quickly.

8. Connection

Working from home can provide some privacy, but it can also cause isolation, loneliness, and depression. People feel disconnected and disengaged when support teams and group work are not available. A high attrition rate leaves the company scrambling to find replacement talent and quickly fill key positions. Conversely, people who don't interact with others or participate in the workplace risk becoming irrelevant, undervalued, or overlooked. Additionally, these factors affect a company's ability to fill the talent pipeline, make contingency plans and identify future leaders. It is more important than ever to have a place where meaningful connections can be made.

9. Agility

With agile work, teams can adapt quickly with rapid learning cycles, but that requires both an eco-system of spaces to support different learning steps and a level of iteration and collaboration that can only be done in person. The ability to flex and move furniture as ideas evolve and prototypes emerge are critical to enabling teams to come together in ways that support their fast-paced, always-changing work processes.

10. Communication

Even though technology can be used to communicate, we believe something is lost in a two-dimensional world. It is essential infrastructure to have online platforms, text messaging, and a variety of apps to support teams, but they are also dangerous. Overusing screens or phones can cause fatigue, zoning out, and even reduced productivity. Staying in touch is essential for forward momentum, and there is no substitute for face-to-face communication.