While there are many offices that have made it easier to telecommute their staff, there are also many who prefer to return to the office, even if it is only a few days a week.
That is to say without forgetting what this pandemic has highlighted: the need to improve the design of offices, with an emphasis on the well-being of the worker, and thus also to meet the needs of new forms of work. For example, connecting remotely to meetings by videoconference, which is a very important issue in acoustic terms, which improves not only the experience of the workers, but also that of the interlocutors on the other end of the phone.
In numbers, the coronavirus crisis has caused an unprecedented exodus of workers from offices to homes. Early studies found that at least 40% of workers in the EU had made a forced transition to full-time remote work.
While productivity has been shown to be unaffected by working remotely, and many considered telecommuting to be the trend in the future, the truth is that it is not seen as a sustainable solution. long-term. Not only does this incur costs for the company and the worker, but contact with the team from time to time is vital. Thus, a form of mixed work is the goal of the near future.
A recent Ecophon survey of office workers in Sweden clearly shows that the home cannot completely replace the office: only 5% of workers said they wanted to work remotely full time after the crisis. Among the reasons for these results, participants highlighted the better acoustic conditions in offices compared to homes when, for example, holding meetings or video calls.
The reason seems clear to 95%, who consider it necessary to combine remote work and face-to-face work, based on the commitment to innovation, collaboration and team cohesion, all complemented by a good acoustic design ( which can be improved today in many offices).
“Workers feel that remote working has affected company culture, providing fewer opportunities to exchange ideas, transfer knowledge and seek advice from supervisors and colleagues,” Ecophon explained in drawing the conclusions of the survey, which also highlighted the concern of more than 45% of employees who believe that their mental health has been affected by working from home, and that 4 in 5 employees have difficulty disconnecting at night .
“Physical offices are necessary for a long-term creative, social and productive working life. They are meeting places for collaboration and team cohesion. While hybrid remote working clearly plays a vital role in the future of work, it needs to be made easier alongside access to a well-planned office. For example, installing a sound absorbing ceiling has been shown to increase job satisfaction, reduce discomfort by up to 25%, and reduce stress levels by 11%. Simple measures to improve the noise environment in offices improve both the health and productivity of workers, ”Ecophon explained.
Workers want to return to the office, interact with their colleagues in a well-designed space, not only “visually” but also acoustically. The office is necessary for a socially sustainable future of work.