Why Use an Office?
October 26, 2020 by Lee Mulkowsky
With a return to pre-COVID-19 socialization and living still a big question mark, millions of Americans who are able to work outside their offices remain at home, some six months after the U.S. outbreak of the pandemic.
Knowledge workers, especially those with children or elderly relatives living at home, are finding themselves spread thin as they try to juggle caregiver and professional responsibilities. Some are finding that their jobs are no less demanding now than they were pre-virus and that the perceived approval by management to take time off is as elusive as ever.
Staying home, then, isn’t the long-term answer to our work-in-the-age-of-coronavirus dilemma. However, for the sake of everyone’s health, neither is a widespread return to the days of the traditional office.
There is, luckily, a healthy balance to be struck: flexible, temporary, and virtual workspaces. Below, we discuss the top three work-related ‘areas’ for professionals to consider when deciding whether to retain an away-from-home office.
It’s not just you. Working from home can make finding the desire to get down to work more difficult. How can it not? From the TV to the fridge, to the kids, there are endless distractions, coupled with a near-total lack of positive peer pressure from other professionals in close proximity to spur you to get into gear and get things done.
“In the current pandemic, finding motivation for those working in self-isolation presents unique challenges,” Janina Steinmetz and Ayelet Fishbach write in a recent HBR piece. “Many people struggle more than ever to efficiently get their work done in their home offices and to focus on video conferences and email exchanges. But it’s easy to overlook another key source of motivation, which is conspicuously absent for many workers in the current circumstances: the presence of other people.”
Remote workers looking for a motivation boost, then, should consider a top coworking space, such as Metro Offices. At a coworking space, the people around whom you work (from a CDC-recommended 6-foot distance, of course) may not be involved in the same work as you, but just being around them may well push you to work harder.
Like motivation, productivity also increases when you’re in the presence of others, specifically, others in an office setting. In a study by business-news site The Manifest, nearly half of all employees (45%) self-reported being more productive in an office setting than at home.
For those who have remained working from home because their usual work refuges (coffee shops and libraries) are either now take-out only or still shuttered, flexible and shared office spaces make a lot of sense. Concerned about virus protection? So are we here at Metro Offices, where we take cleaning, sanitization and virus protection very seriously.
One thing you’re definitely not doing at home in your jammies is networking. That’s one area where office spaces really have a leg up. While the new networking may not look like it once did (no more casually standing a mere foot from a stranger while you exchange business cards outside your favorite food truck), it’s still getting done. After all, at a coworking space, there’s no reason you can’t strike up a conversation with a fellow coworker while waiting, mask on, for the coffee machine.
“Common areas in shared office spaces often become a breeding ground for networking, sharing information and knowledge with fellow co-workers,” Priyanka Krishnan writes in a piece for Entrepreneur.com. “It is an opportunity to interact with people from varying professional backgrounds, who would likely be a useful connection and this, in turn, can be converted into generating leads and partnership opportunities.”
Still trying to get all your work done at home? Give Metro Offices a try instead. Browse our locations today.
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