40% of the workforce will be working remotely by 2020, that’s just over a year away people - one year! We saw the rise and fall of Google Glass in less than that amount of time!
So, what does this mean for those of you out there who manage one of those good old, brick and mortar office spaces? If you are going to want, much less expect, people to come into your office you better have a great office. Think about it, you’re going to need to get people to change out of their sweatpants, say goodbye to their pups, leave their apartments and commute in. And it better be some pretty dope digs, especially if you’re gonna want them to do it on a regular basis! And I’m not talking a ball pit and slide type of office - sure those are interesting (no they’re dumb, see my upcoming post on this). Here’s the real reason people come into an office:
Two brains are better than one! If you create a collaborative environment, team members will want to come in to benefit from that. Teams work way better when they can sit in the same room and work out a problem. It’s fulfilling to work together with people.
Humans are social creatures, and for the most part we enjoying being around others. This doesn’t just mean for meetings, I mean working in and around others who inspire you to do better work. While we can’t always avoid phone meetings, in person meetings are more effective than phone meetings and much it’s easier for everyone to be fully engaged. But the unmeasurable outcome of being the same room with the people you work with is the relationship and trust you build before, during and after a meeting. Outside of formal meeting interactions, offices that allow for accidental interactions, like water cooler run-ins, help to foster community.
After talking with friends who work at top companies in SF and one of the main reasons they go in is because the coffee setup at work is far better than at home (no, really!). Obviously not every company can hire their own pour over, single origin barista to serve their staff (nor do they need to). But since the big companies offer full-service perks, it’s a good idea to offer a few of your own in order to be able to recruit and maintain top talent. It also provides a space for those accidental interactions.
You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money, but if you want people to come into the office, you need to make it a nice place to work to they are motivated to do so.