The New WFH is WFO

Working from the office

Never mind working from home, or WFH, as we know it – THE major talking point at the moment is whether football is really coming home this year.

The delayed start of the Euro 2020s, so late that they are the Euro 2021s, except in the Panini sticker book, is about to give all football fans a big boost for our revived post lockdown summer, and the renewed hope that the England football team may win a trophy.

However – is the office coming home?

We all know about the impact of COVID-19 on office life – remote working, and all the issues around cybersecurity/mental health/pyjama zooms/mute alerts etc, but what will happen next?

I just met with Bruntwood, one of the UK’s major commercial property owners and managers who tell me that enquiries in the Liverpool property sector have been very buoyant, albeit with a new and interesting perspective.

They have had a huge level of enquiries this last month, which is about back to the normal levels of interest, and there is no air of doom and gloom that may pervade elsewhere.

In fact, you may have read about Goldman Sachs, shall we call it ‘suggesting’ that their staff return to Canary Wharf as soon as possible. The bars, restaurants and cabbies are also joining in that chorus.

It seems that there is a trend to people coming back into the office for all sort of reasons such as:

  • General mental health
  • Working with their more senior colleagues for revived mentoring
  • There also seems to be a trend towards providing more space within the office and not just ramming people into the smallest space required – never mind social distancing, this is about enhancing the office environment.
  • There’s also a move towards making the offices a lot more socially exciting place for people to come and work so that they are being tempted with better coffee, table football (of course), beanbags, break-out zones and all manner of warm, cuddly things.

There might be a slight movement towards a softening of property prices but there was a confident feel that people were just keener to return to work and have that greater social contact with their work colleagues.

So, perhaps, as Mark Twain may have said,” Reports of the end of office life have been exaggerated.”

It would appear that just like football fans, the desks and chairs that we used to know so well, are jumping up and down and shouting out “Our staff are coming home”.

Author: Martyn Best, Document Direct

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