3 reasons why the office is key to your company’s success

The world is in flux. The COVID-19 pandemic creates new normality of social distancing and more flexible ways of working. With many people working remotely most of the time, it poses a question: are these changes going to last? And how this affects companies and people? Let’s find out.

The tight-knit coworking community talking at a flexible office at Campus X, Sofia
The tight-knit coworking community at Campus X, Sofia

Remote work is no silver bullet

Skipping the annoying one-hour commute and working in your pajamas? Gaining an extra hour in the morning to exercise and kickstarting the workday from the comfort of your sofa sounds like a dream come true. And perhaps it was. In the beginning.

As time passes, company leaders realize that remote-only might not be the best long-term solution as it’s not all positive for their teams’ well-being, mental health, and productivity.

A recent study conducted by the Martec Group surveyed 1,214 individuals across various industries, demographics, and seniority levels to check how working from home is impacting employees. The result? While a number of people feel good working from home, there was a significant decline in mental health across all industries, seniority levels, and demographics. In turn, this had a negative impact on job satisfaction and teams’ motivation.

“The biggest challenge I personally have when working from home is that it almost always feels like I'm working. The line between work and rest time is blurred and that is ultimately what affects my productivity the most, comments the Head of Marketing at Codeable and a Campus X member Tina Kesova.

"In the office, I have the perfect, distraction-free environment that enables me to do my best work and then when I'm done, I can go home and rest. At home that is not the case. I tend to overwork and then I feel tired and unproductive day after day,” she adds.

Flexible coworking office at Campus X, Sofia
Flexible coworking office at Campus X, Sofia

But why is that? The self-complexity psychological theory claims that individuals have multiple context-dependent social roles and relationships and this variety is healthy for us. When these aspects are reduced to our bedrooms, we are more susceptible to work-related stress and negative feelings.

As the associate professor at Insead Gianpiero Petriglieri, who studies sustainable development in the workspace told BBC:

“Imagine if you go to a bar, and in the same bar you talk with your professors, meet your parents and date someone, isn’t it weird? That’s what we’re doing now.”

On a final note, humans are social animals, who have socialized with each other for millions of years. We’re wired to crave interaction with other human beings. Our first-hand experience at Campus X confirms this. After surveying and conversing with our members on what was missed the most during the lockdown, people gave one and the same answer: the contact with like-minded professionals.

“To me, personal interactions are vital, especially because I am in Sales. One of the major challenges during the lockdown was the effective communication with the team.

I am very grateful that the Campus X team did their utmost to allow us back in the office so soon. Our internal policy at Payhawk is that everyone can decide for themselves and now with the comfort of the weekly PCR tests, our team has the opportunity to work in a safe office environment,” shares Andrey Bankovski, Director, Business Development at our member company Payhawk.

Business is a social activity

“The workplace is a social environment and business in any form is a social phenomenon,” as the Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford Robin Dunbar explains.

This view is also echoed by other researchers like the Stanford University doctoral researcher Priyanka Carr and Stanford associate psychology professor Gregory Walton who concluded that people working and running businesses together is the foundation of human culture, adding that “working with others affords enormous social and personal benefits for teams and individuals.”

People talking at a flexible coworking office