Remote working may well become the norm, but I’d take the banter – and the biscuits – of the workplace any day

Connor O’Keefe – Account Executive at Spreckley 

I miss the office. There. I said it.

It’s been a couple of weeks now since we reverted to remote working. Here I am, slumped over my laptop in my kitchen, unsure of the last day I went outside. The first few days were great – there was no need to spend time choosing your outfit the night before, no reason to do your hair or even look in the mirror. But the best thing undoubtedly: exorcising the commute from my life!

But two weeks in working from home has turned out to be somewhat of a novelty and has made me realise how important – and dare I say it, fun – working in an office environment is.

COVID-19, Coronavirus… whatever you want to call it, is everywhere you look (quite literally). And it’s undoubtedly changed the way we work forever. Remote working used to be a buzzword and it has been on the rise for years, but in light of this pandemic, it’s become essential.

But the key question is: could this pandemic irreversibly break the necessity of presenteeism? CEO’s, managing directors and business owners are most likely starting to find that operations are continuing to run like business-as-usual, and in some cases maybe even better. As a result, aside from the fact that working from home could be mandatory for the next six months, looking further ahead there is a very real possibility that remote working may just become… the norm of working life.

If I am going to be completely honest, this worries me. Going to work in an office space does have its downfalls, not least navigating the Piccadilly line on a sweltering hot day. But, for me, a job simply isn’t just about ensuring there is a roof over your head and food on the table. It’s about teamwork, chit-chatting by the coffee machine, collaboration, having drinks in The Hat and Tun, Friday ‘high fives’ and, most importantly, the office snacks.

Despite trying to do these things virtually, it’s very hard to replicate the same feeling and boost that you get from these in person, and for me working in an office space can have a huge impact on employee morale, motivation and mental health.

All hail the office! I hope that in six months’ time remote working is still just an option, rather than the norm.

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