February 5, 2021
Working together in person has far-ranging benefits on everything from mental health to economic growth according to a new report by Landsec and written by IC&CO and Honeycomb Analytics. The report, In Person: why coming together for work matters, includes interviews with business leaders and analysis of recent data to delve into topics including the ability for leaders to lead and the younger generation’s capacity to learn whilst remote working.
The report unearths several key arguments for businesses to encourage some in person working at least, when it’s safe to do so this year. The first being that the younger generation are disproportionately impacted by having less time in the office in order to build relationships and learn by observing their senior colleagues to gather a sense industry culture and working practices. Likewise, leaders report that day-to-day tasks and instructions can be managed fine from home but fostering a shared sense of purpose and growing the business, the bigger picture work, is stilted when not in person.
Also referenced in the report is expert opinion from Evolutionary psychologist Dr Diana Fleishman. Dr Fleishman shares her views around the challenges of effectively reading our colleagues and clients via virtual communication. She explains that as ultra-social beings, we are designed to influence the minds and behaviours of other people. We have a whole array of non-verbal behaviours that help us interpret the person in front of us; Much of which is unavailable to us in a remote working scenario.
The report is complemented by some recent research undertaken by Landsec which surveyed 3,000 office workers. The research claims that people based at home were most missing the camaraderie (43 percent) and collaboration (41 percent) of being in their office space and that many, (37 percent) believe creative thinking is ‘much better’ completed in the office.
Landsec hopes this report will start productive conversations to help their customers better understand how they can use their workspace effectively to achieve their goals.
“The office remains at the heart of our work ecosystem”
Matt Flood, Head of Occupier Markets at Landsec said: “It’s important for us to continuously forge partnerships with our customers and industry partners. This means listening to them, understanding their business and viewing the world from their perspective. We commissioned this new research as part of our commitment to supporting our partners with fresh insight at a time of rapid change.
“The future of work is all about choice, with the office being part of a wider ecosystem of physical and digital spaces where employees can work – and we’ve been talking to our customers about this for several years. However, the office remains at the heart of our work ecosystem because, even in a post-Covid world, so many of us instinctively recognise the value of coming together to work, in person. This research goes beyond our instincts and brings new data and expert perspectives to help shape a view of in person’s importance in the future.”