Since the dawn of working at home, we have been a lot less productive. It’s a fact. Working from home is distracting and really hard for many people. That’s why this year will probably see a massive return to the office, but with lots of changes to office layouts and workplace flexibility (because some people CAN pound out reports while pretending to still drink their coffee from four hours ago in a Starbucks puffy chair).
We created a monster when we became obsessed with constant connectivity: we now work, on average, a 47-hour workweek. The 40-hour one no longer exists. Also, according to a study by Forbes, 64% of managers expect their employees to be available and connected on their personal time (before or after work).
Additionally, with technology constantly being developed to further globalize the world, wearable technology changing the productivity game, and now even virtual offices being offered to lower costs and omit the need for an actual “office”, we will be getting back to work…24 hours a day.
Companies are also starting to really pay attention to office layout and how it affects productivity and office dynamics. The open floor-plan idea used by giant companies like Google and Facebook before is starting to wear on the nerves of pretty much everyone that has been forced to use it, even Google.
Offices are becoming much smaller and decentralized (hence the need for flexibility). And businesses have found that they can save lots of money by reducing the square footage of actual office space and by creating multi-faceted, multi-functional spaces that include meeting rooms, private spaces (like cubicles), and lounge or café type areas for those that find them more apt for productivity. Plus, collaborative technologies that allow people to do business across the city, country or globe are being created to help employees be more productive and happier in their work environment.
So maybe the “work from home’ era is dwindling, but now we have the added advantage of feeling more at home in our places of work. So, get back to that comfy cubby, lounge area, or office cafe and get back to work.