The New Office Post Covid-19
In 2023, Ireland has seen a significant shift in what people consider their office, with many employees now working remotely from home. While some may argue that working in the office provides better collaboration and social interaction, remote work has proven to be just as productive and has many benefits that are difficult to ignore.
On one hand, returning to the office can provide a sense of normalcy and improve collaboration and social interaction among coworkers. It can also provide a clearer separation between work and personal life, which is important for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
While on the other hand, remote work has proven to be a viable option for many employees, with benefits such as increased flexibility, reduced commute times, and improved productivity. It can also help companies save on office expenses and attract top talent from a wider pool of candidates.
We have asked our Principal Consultant at CREGG, Rachel McMahon, to take a look at how this debate has unfolded over recent Irish history while delving into CREGG’s own approach.
One of the biggest advantages of working from home is the flexibility it provides. Without the need to commute, employees have more time to spend with their families or engage in hobbies and other activities. They also have the freedom to set their own schedules, which can be especially important for those with young children or other responsibilities.
Another benefit of working from home is the increased productivity. Many people find that they are able to get more done in a shorter amount of time when they are not distracted by coworkers or other office-related interruptions. In fact, a recent corporate survey found that 71% of Irish workers believe that they are just as or more productive when working from home.
Additionally, employees who work from home are often able to work longer hours if needed, without the added stress of a commute or other time-consuming distractions.
Back to the Office?
However, remote work does have its challenges. One of the biggest is the lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues. While technology such as video conferencing and instant messaging can help bridge the gap, it can still be difficult to build strong relationships and collaborate effectively when not in the same physical space.
Furthermore, working from home can also blur the boundaries between work and personal life, leading to burnout and stress. Without the physical separation of an office, it can be challenging to “switch off” from work and take the necessary breaks to maintain a healthy work-life balance. A survey by LinkedIn found that over 70% of Irish workers would prefer to work in an office to help maintain a better work-life balance.
In conclusion, both working in the office and working from home have their pros and cons. While remote work has many advantages, it is important to be aware of the challenges and take steps to mitigate them. Ultimately, the best solution will depend on the individual and their particular work style and preferences.
The new office at CREGG
Here at CREGG, we have taken positive steps towards new post Covid-19 working arrangements. The facilitation of full employee input, engagement and collaboration towards achieving the ideal work setup for each of our recruitment consultants has been key. We have also facilitated one to one discussions to decide what version of the hybrid or remote working model suits each individual’s needs best.
Whether we want to follow a structured or unstructured approach when returning to the office or if we want to return to the office at all has been a major decision over the past 24 months. CREGG is implementing the ‘hoteling’ trend where we will no longer be assigned desks but can hot desk instead or reserve a desk when the office is at full capacity. We are moving to a more open plan collaborative office and a breakaway room with a round table where we can have team meetings and lunch together.
Similar to this, a new coffee machine to encourage casual chats and the flow of ideas and employee engagement. The flexibility and open communication which CREGG has offered to its employees is key to the exceptionally low levels of employee turnover and continued growth as we move towards a completely new organisational work structure.
As a recruitment company, we are hyper-sensitive to the demands surrounding modern job roles with the vast majority of candidates now almost requiring a remote working possibility before they even consider applying for a job. As Ireland continues to progress through the digital age, it is difficult to predict how much everyone will be affected by this debate in the coming years.