Are you back in the office yet?

shutterstock 525198061 1

With the government lifting COVID restrictions on July 19th, the chat amongst working professionals and on LinkedIn (there’s been a lot of polls), has included the question ‘Are you back in the office yet? In my experience, I’ve seen a lot of mixed opinions, with some preferring the new working from home lifestyle and others (me included) dying to get back into the office.

There’s no right or wrong answer and every business works differently. Some companies have workforces that thrive in office environments and others have teams that excel when given their own space to work. At Embryo, we’ve been given the best of both worlds, with a hybrid working schedule which balances our time in the office with our time working from home. For most of us, we’ve been dying to get back into the office and enjoy each other’s company, mostly when eating Nandos around the lunch table.

 

How will this change moving forward?

The ability to work from home largely depends on the industry and the type of roles in which people work. Some companies may have had the scope to allow it’s staff to work from home but may have never considered it, however, the pandemic has forced change. When restrictions were first imposed, lot’s of workers were given the opportunity to work from home, leading many businesses to figure out ways of making this work.

In the case of Embryo, with lots of time and effort, the processes have been streamlined and working at home has become the norm. The ability to still work and communicate with each other through various Slack channels and Google Meets calls has been invaluable. It’s helped keep Embryo’s culture alive and ensure our capacity to complete work hasn’t been affected.

For others, being in the office and in each other’s company is essential, which has made the last year and a half much more difficult. However, while some businesses have now learnt that working from home favours some people, the question of a 5-day working week has also been thrown into question.

A change in the working landscape?

Working from 9-5, Monday to Friday, has been the norm for many businesses, for many years. But many are now questioning whether this working pattern could be changed to benefit both the staff and the business. Amongst lot’s of LinkedIn polls, there has been a lot of discussion around how a 4-day working week could improve the productivity of staff and benefit mental health. There have even been companies trialling this working structure that have proved a great success.

There has been a lot of discussion around burnout and being overworked, which can have negative effects on both the worker’s mental health, as well as the business due to lower productivity. With discussions I’ve had with other colleagues just over lunch, many have said that they would rather work slightly longer during four days of the week to be able to enjoy a 3-day weekend.

Much like the adaptation to working from home, after being in the office, it would take a lot of planning to ensure that a 4-day working week is viable from a workload point of view but there is evidence to suggest it could be done! What do you think? Would a 3-day working week improve your productivity?