The events of the past few years have turned where and how we work on its head. That being said, there’s still a great deal of value in actually coming into the office.

With so many businesses defaulting to remote and hybrid working as ‘the new norm,’ the argument for in-person office working perhaps appears weaker than it once was. As Office Manager at Incremental Group, I for one am an advocate of office working. Here’s why…

Separating work and home life

For me, working from home was great…until it wasn’t. I quickly discovered that by the end of the day I hadn’t actually switched out of work mode. I had been online for X amount of hours and between calls and emails had popped on a wash, wiped down the kitchen, ran the hoover over the living room, made dinner, walked the dog but had always gravitated towards my laptop no matter what the time was because there was nothing else to do. Except there were other things to do – lockdown was over, I was fully vaccinated and (sometimes) the sun was shining. I realised I had formed a habit that centered around my home office, in this case my dining room table, and it had to be broken and that meant going back to the office.

Above: Where I spend most of my working week, at Incremental HQ, Glasgow. 

Benefits of office working

Apart from the odd day since I started with Incremental in September 2021, I have worked from the office either in Glasgow, Inverurie or Manchester. There are a number of reasons why I enjoy office working and here are just a few of them:

  1. Some see the commute to work as a pain but I find that it gives me a definitive break between home life and work. The journey home is a chance for me to listen to a podcast and switch off from travel requests, office bookings and function set ups. It also does wonders for my step count and now that the nicer weather is coming in, I will be using my bike a bit more rather than using public transport.

 

  1. While I am out of the house, I don’t have to heat it in the winter or use my own electricity to charge my phone, laptop and monitor. With the price of gas and electricity increasing exponentially this is a cost-saving that will be welcome as we reach the colder months. I still make my lunch as I used to but now I take it with me and enjoy the great office facilities to have a proper break from my laptop at lunchtime.

 

  1. Seeing people on a daily basis, building relationships and networks is a great way of improving my communication and interpersonal skills. It would be a physical impossibility to interact with as many people as I do if I was working from home all the time. As I spend time in the office I regularly engage with the senior management team and people working in all areas of the business. I firmly believe that this allows me to learn subliminally by observing how leaders deal with situations even though I am not directly involved in the decision-making process.

 

  1. I recently completed the Mental Health First Aid course and one of the main themes we discussed was asking if someone was OK. We talked extensively about recognising when someone may be struggling with their physical or mental health and one of the key indicators is a lack of self-care; something that is far more difficult to assess when you are engaging through Teams with the camera off.  Having team days when people can see each other may give that opportunity to sit down with someone over a coffee and say the words ‘It’s ok not to be ok. Are you ok?’

 

  1. At the end of a long day there is always an opportunity to have a quick post-work drink with a colleague to catch up on the days events. Incremental happily provides a selection of snacks, soft drinks, beers, wines and prosecco giving everyone the opportunity to socialise. This is another fantastic opportunity to engage with someone face-to-face that you might not normally associate with as they aren’t on your team.

Above: After work drinks with some colleagues from the ERP business unit. 

Hybrid working works for so many of us but for me, I’m happy to leave home life at home and look forward to returning to it once work is finished. For more information on our Incremental offices, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Discover your local Incremental office today by visiting our locations page.