By Enric Urreta, Managing Partner of CINC, Vice President of the 22 @ network Association and member of the board of directors of the association of flexible workspaces Proworkspaces
Teleworking has become a challenge due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19. Many companies have had to get used to it quickly, implementing all the technological tools at their fingertips to maintain productivity levels. And despite this, after several weeks of confinement, some have realized that perhaps teleworking was not what they expected, and that it is time to start planning the return to the office.
And, in reality, very few companies work completely remotely, and not all have a telework culture implanted, so it is more difficult for them to achieve the same productivity as in the office. According to a study by the company Actiu, carried out nationwide with different professional profiles, almost half of those surveyed consider that productivity and efficiency levels at work are not being maintained.
This same survey also yields another interesting piece of information: 73% of those surveyed want to go back to their companies and telecommute one day a week, and only 16% affirm that they would like to telecommute one hundred percent. Therefore, it seems that the quarantine period has served us as a reflection to realize that, despite the popularity of teleworking, face-to-face work continues to have much more to offer companies and their workers. Let's see why:
A recent study published by Bloomberg ensures that the Spanish, French and British have added two hours a day to their workday from home during the quarantine period for the coronavirus. This is not surprising, since with remote work the boundaries that separate work and personal life are quite blurred, which can predispose employees to suffer from work overload and stress.
It is much easier to set limits when we work from the office, since at the end of our day we leave work there and we can disconnect when we get home. Maybe we haven't seen it that way before, but it makes a lot of sense.
Companies often overlook a very important technical aspect of teleworking: the risk it carries in terms of security. Working remotely increases the chances of suffering cyberattacks, as well as the loss of confidential data, among others. Additionally, workers' Wi-Fi networks are generally less secure and beyond the control of company IT managers.
Returning to the offices will allow companies to reduce these risks and it will no longer be necessary to implement extraordinary measures to guarantee security. It should be taken into account that during the COVID-19 crisis, a greater number of cyber risks are occurring, in addition to a greater risk of breaches in information security.
The Actiu study that we mentioned reveals that almost 60% of those surveyed miss the relationship with their colleagues. When working remotely, the entire work environment disappears, which leads to a certain isolation that we can only remedy through calls and videoconferences. There are also no breaks or coffees with colleagues, or networking opportunities with other professionals.
Fortunately, returning to the office will reactivate all these social relationships that are beneficial, not only for our personal well-being, but also for the company. And it is that it has been shown that people who work in the office have a greater emotional connection with the company, are more motivated and are more innovative and proactive. This was the reason why the Yahoo company, despite pioneering work flexibility a few years ago, decided to change its Human Resources policy in 2015 by reinstating work in offices rather than in private homes. And curiously, it worked well: he managed to increase his income for the first time in four years.
It is essential to carry out the pertinent occupational safety measures, not only for compliance with Occupational Risk Prevention, but also to guarantee comfort and ergonomics, which ultimately also affect the health and productivity of employees. In this sense, the lack of adequate furniture and space and work environment is another of the handicaps of remote work.
In the end, we spend many hours sitting in front of the computer, and it is necessary to have good light, a comfortable chair, a table with the appropriate dimensions and a good climate. That is why the return to work is being highly anticipated for many workers: a third of those surveyed in the Actiu study - which we mentioned earlier - is what they most miss.
We know that these are difficult times and of great uncertainty for everyone. We cannot predict the future, but at CINC we can guarantee you something: that when you return to the office, you will have everything you need so that you can resume your activity as before and that everything returns to normal.
We will continue to carry out the strictest security measures so that you can return to work with complete peace of mind: distribution of masks, gloves, disinfectant gels on each floor, reinforcement in cleaning, limitation of capacity in our rooms and common areas and respect for the Regulatory safety distances. So, of course, we will do everything possible to make the return to work as smooth as possible and, as always, we will remain at your disposal for anything you need.