As I write, I have been exploring ideas around new office space recently, as our Sydney CBD lease is approaching its end.
Covid-19, shutdowns and lockdowns and a general change in work practices, means our needs in this area are changing rapidly. In my travels, Ross Clennett, an ‘old’ industry colleague and friend suggested a very informative podcast “Eat Sleep Work Repeat” and specifically, a particular episode on the big return; making the call on what to do next, which discusses how businesses are returning to the office. Take a listen!
Anyway, during this podcast a phrase was used which has lingered with me for some time and instigated my blog post today.
At the beginning of the pandemic, in early 2020, most of us were forced to abandon the sanctuary of our office and were instructed to go about our daily tasks from our homes. Many of my colleagues at people2people had already been working from home in some capacity, taking advantage of our ‘p2p perks’. They found the transition to be easy and not disruptive. Others were delighted as it enabled better management of their home and families and anecdotally, they were more productive.
I lasted three days before I returned to the office, albeit alone.
I was not working from home, with all the connotations of a warm embrace in friendly surroundings, instead I found myself in a world where I was living at work! I was not able to escape my working day and was perpetually at work and ‘on’. I realised, I needed the contrast in my life between work and home. Being able to put the phone away and compartmentalise my business life and shut it down when I was in the sanctuary of my own home was shattered, when I would find myself waking and attempting to relax in the same physical environment in which I was working.
Am I alone?
I think if I am then there are very significant effects on how much office space is required by business and the purpose for which it is leased. As I suspect, I am not alone and I am sure that the office will still exist for ‘tragics’ like me, but I am convinced that it will be different from the past 30 years of what I’ve experienced during the past 30 years of working life.
I would love to hear your opinion. What has been your experience? Get in touch or leave a comment. I am also running a Twitter poll. Depending on when you are reading this you may still be able to vote here.