Joanne Barratt, Managing Director of The Venues Collection, explains why working with a venue supplier could help staff stay connected…
As we all become accustomed to the ‘new normal’, flexibility will be key in our approach to bringing people together again in the new office. Professor Cary Cooper, a leading psychologist, has predicted that more and more people will continue to work from home post-Covid, and this brings a wide range of benefits such as more time with the family, less stress and reduced travel time and carbon emissions.
But we are all now experiencing the fatigue that accompanies constant video meetings and a lack of face-to-face contact. Video calls have their own challenges; they make us tired because our brains need to work harder to process the non-verbal cues that we normally pick up on.
As people continue to work remotely, they may crave time and space to meet with their colleagues, not just once a year at the big company conference, but maybe once a month or once a week. A flexible approach to this could be taken, one that incorporates home-working with regular in-person meet-ups. However, financial pressures will also impact these decisions and could mean that renting a traditional office building may be too much of a burden for some companies to take; using a flexible office space becomes an attractive proposition.
With this in mind, many businesses may find that it is more suitable to have a contract with a training and meetings venue. Space to meet can then be booked on a daily or even hourly basis. Occasional office or meeting space doesn’t have to resemble a traditional office layout, it can be set up to generate a more creative environment, to encourage different ways of thinking and inspire camaraderie in remote teams. Meeting rooms with adjoining open spaces will also offer a flexible in-doors / out-doors approach, which again encourages creativity and inspirational working.
Another consideration is that even on returning to the office, companies may find that they do not have enough space to house all of their employees now that they need to provide a socially distanced working environment. Having access to flexible office or meeting space through these times may be just what the company needs to thrive. Safety is of course important and so choosing space that is thoroughly cleaned between uses, is self contained and that adheres to social distancing rules is paramount.
Flexible working needs a flexible attitude and access to flexible office space. It is time to re-think and move away from the traditional office.
Joanne Barratt is Managing Director of The Venues Collection – a group of eight venues offering Covid-secure office, meeting and training space.