How are you feeling about returning to office life? This week the government begin their campaign to encourage people back to the workplace believing that, along with the re-opening of schools, it is the next step to getting the nation back to normality.
If it’s not part of your plan or even possible to get everyone back to your office, an off-site get-together to reconnect could be the answer – and if you chose the right location has some surprising added benefits
working from home
For many people, a return to the office signifies a step in the right direction; working from home brings its own challenges which, when we were doing it on the odd Friday whilst squeezing in coffee & exercise, worked OK. Now that it’s our full-time modus operandi, it takes on a whole new meaning. How many of us have had to negotiate with our partners for space at the kitchen table or live with the blurred lines of home and work – should I be overseeing home schooling or checking in to that Zoom call with the team?
Video calls have presented their own challenges, as Mike Fletcher writes in his recent CVent blog post, ‘Zoom fatigue is real; Psychologists have identified that our brains need to work harder during a video call to consciously process non-verbal cues like facial expressions and tone-of-voice. This results in increased tiredness. The confinement anxiety of conducting our work lives and social lives in the same small virtual space can lead to unconscious increases in stress. The intensity of seeing all our own facial expressions played out on the screen in front of us can build insecurity and fear for how we’re perceived by others’.
However, we have adapted in such an efficient way to this virtual world that the likes of Facebook have announced that they will not return to the office until Summer 2021, and they are not alone. Many organisations have recognised that their offices aren’t able to accommodate large numbers of staff whilst social distancing regulations are still in place. Instead, they have come up with innovative ideas to improve employees’ home infrastructure, with schemes for buying home office resources and enhanced connectivity.
why go back?
So, what are the implications of this? If the business is performing well and productivity has not been affected, then why would you upset the status quo and rush employees back into the workplace?
Well, we are social creatures. It can be exhausting to constantly manage your time and set your own priorities. Although there are those individuals who are confident, focussed self-starters, human nature dictates that the majority of us thrive in environments where we are motivated and encouraged by those around us. In the virtual world, what happens to the mentoring that takes place over a coffee, the subtle awareness of your team’s behaviours and state of mind which help you manage, develop and support your employees? What is the long-term impact on the company culture?
The future of corporate life could mean smaller facilities which staff frequent less often. The office setting, if it is retained at all will be used for team or external client’s meetings, most likely booked in advance to manage numbers. We could see employees visiting the office one or two days a week at most and working from home the rest of the week.
make it memorable
One thing is for certain, moving forward, time together as a team will be especially valuable. Meetings in real life may happen less frequently throughout the year and therefore it’s essential that they are impactful and memorable to sustain and motivate until the next one.
We will expect a lot from these one or two day events as they will provide the opportunity, not only to address business priorities and challenges but also to have fun together as a team and strengthen the connections that may have been lost through virtual working.
meet in streatley
Those who already use our meeting and event space for off site meetings will know that we have made the most of our location with easy access to the river for watersports, paddleboarding, outdoor yoga or a simple stroll in the countryside. We want everyone who visits us to leave feeling better than when they arrived and as we look at the future of off site meetings for our clients, this has never been more relevant.
Reassuringly spacious meeting rooms with doors opening on to the terrace and riverside lawns, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities and al fresco coffee breaks. The benefits of green exercise are well documented with time outside attributed with improving creativity, positive mental health and motivation. Business coaches and leaders report that and a walk & talk coaching session is more effective than a head to head.
Bedrooms are well equipped with good wi-fi connection and desks for quiet working, your Coppa Club meals can be taken in the restaurant or in your room. We’ve adapted our services to offer quick turnaround on enquiries and flexible cancellation rates so you can set up and if necessary, change, meetings at short notice and we’ve been working closely with our partners Common Sense Compliance making adjustments to our service to comply with CV19 regulations; ensuring you of a safe and carefree time at our hotels.
Talk to us about getting your team together again [email protected]