After completing our first largescale commercial project of the year in January, the biggest ever working from home experiment was thrust upon us in March. The months that followed brought uncertainty, worry and in some cases loneliness. From virtual team meetings and pub quizzes to grocery deliveries and clapping on the doorstep, we were very quickly thrown into an entirely new world.
Lockdown itself revealed some interesting statistics, which have helped us greatly to respond, adapt and reflect on people’s preferred working practices. In April we conducted our first survey, which found that 80% of people were missing working together with their colleagues. Concerns were raised about mental health as money worries combined with isolation grew. But on the flip side, there was a growing sense that the general work-life balance was improving (65% agreed with this statement) and a massive 89% of people wanted to continue working from home in some way.
Productivity was a concern for many employers with staff working from home, but as it turned out, work was done swiftly and efficiently, without distraction. A greater amount of time spent with family, with fewer external demands, left people feeling happier. Even the smallest things like being able to slot in household chores and dog walks between work tasks took off the pressure.
Health & wellbeing is fundamentally important to POS Interiors and is at the core of our ethos. It’s a known fact that happy employees are more productive – by 31% according to research. Working from home, without the support of colleagues, led to fears that output would drop. But in fact, according to our second, post-lockdown survey, 63% of people believed they were either as productive or more productive than they were in the office.
While the year had its very obvious downside, it also brought significant learnings. We were able to take stock, identify what worked and didn’t work in our professional lives. Staff island-wide began to return to the office in June, but it was a gentle trickle. Some stayed at home, others found new ways of working, splitting their week between home and the office.
This year highlighted more than ever the need for office spaces to be adaptable, smart and above all inspiring. Many had a taste of what it was like to work from a place they had created themselves. It became crystal clear that in order to get people back into the office, they needed spaces that made them feel good, that made them want to leave the comfort of their own homes.
The provision of breakout areas has been the most popular improvement of 2020. This space works best when staff need to collaborate, contemplate and concentrate. Marsh noticed a marked improvement in the way they work following their office overhaul early this year.
Another significant development was the increasingly clever use of space; and the implementation of technology to make the sharing and booking of workspaces simple and hassle-free. Rather than old-fashioned hot desking, where you simply sat at any free desk, smart offices are now able to provide so much more. Desk and room booking tools, accessed via an app, allow you to not only book your workstation at the touch of a button, but you can even control comfort settings (including temperature and desk height). The innovative GoBright platform affords employers a seamless route into activity-based working.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021. We’re looking forward to a more positive year, improving workplaces, wellbeing and productivity.
We would love to help you POSitively transform your working environment. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org