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The Value of Working in an Office: 6 Key Benefits

The workplace is more than just a place to work. It's a hub for connection, collaboration, and innovation where employees feel purpose and belonging. Discover the six key benefits of working in an office, including improved productivity, better onboarding, and enhanced career growth opportunities.

The Value of Working in an Office: 6 Key Benefits

The last year has been full of conflicting opinions around returning to the office. Many businesses are navigating a return to office that aligns with both employees' wants and business needs. The underlying question beneath it all is clear: what is the value of working in an office that can't be achieved from home?

modern office interior with people collaborating

The last year has shown that the workplace is a lot more than just where people work. The workplace is a hub for connection, collaboration, and innovation. It's a place where employees feel purpose and can connect to their work. It is a breeding ground for new friendships and meaningful, professional relationships. As businesses continue to navigate what the best return-to-office strategy is for them, we've put together a list of six key benefits of the workplace.

1. Working in an Office Drives a Sense of Purpose and Belonging

Creating a workplace that supports a sense of purpose and achievement is crucial. Being around coworkers who share a common goal reinforces individual purpose within your organization. Folks are able to observe the actions of others and feel like they're contributing to something. They are able to celebrate wins together.

Plus, working in an office helps drive a sense of belonging. According to an Envoy survey, the majority (60%) of employees said that friendships made in the workplace help drive a sense of belonging at work. Belonging refers to someone's feeling of acceptance within a group or organization. It's something that can be hard to build, especially over Zoom and Slack when folks are taking meetings on mute and with cameras off. That's why having an office is so important because it allows employees to build meaningful connections face-to-face.

2. Working in an Office Fosters Friendship and Real Connection

Workers are also making more space in their schedules to socialize at the workplace—more so than before Covid. According to Envoy data, 34% are choosing to socialize with coworkers in the office, while 27% are making the effort to meet new coworkers. What's more, nearly a quarter (24%) are attending more happy hours or other post-work events.

coworkers socializing and having fun at the office

These friendships and connections can play a major part in how satisfied employees feel while working on site. It's easier for employees to make friends when they spend time together in the office versus when they only communicate digitally. After work happy hours and coffee walks are often what bond employees. Studies actually show that full-time remote workers have 33% fewer friends at work than office workers.

3. Working in an Office Improves Productivity

There's no denying that people can be productive from anywhere. On average, 13% of employees felt that they were more productive when they worked from home–but that's not true for everyone. The physical workplace can improve productivity by enabling information sharing and accessibility.

In fact, 42% of employees say that the ability to access information quickly and easily boosts their productivity levels. Plus, many employees find productivity to be the driving purpose of the workplace. In our recent At Work report, 61% of employees said productivity was the more important outcome to being in an office compared to building relationships.

4. Working in an Office Fosters Collaboration

Being in an office is much more conducive to collaboration than working from home. Studies show that people who work in an office spend 52% more time collaborating than they would if they worked in full-time remote positions. Remote employees spend the majority of their time working in a silo.

team brainstorming and collaborating in a meeting room

Hybrid and full-time onsite employees, however, better split up their week with heads-down work, in-person collaboration, virtual collaboration, and socializing. That's because they're able to more fully use the office equipment, whiteboards, in-person brainstorming sessions to work together.

5. Working in an Office Improves the Onboarding Experience

Some new hires have experienced successful onboarding remotely. But was that only out of pandemic necessity? In-person onboarding has significant benefits for new employees—and not just to help them overcome first day jitters.

Being together in an office helps create the opportunity for new hires to ask questions, learn through osmosis, and feel more confident in their roles. Plus, new employees who are onboarding in an office will take less time to absorb necessary information to make an impact in their role. They'll be able to shadow other teammates, study existing processes, and understand the team's objectives much more effectively.

6. Working in an Office Drives Career Growth for Employees

employee having a career development discussion with manager

Working in an office provides employees with more opportunities for career growth and development. They have better access to mentors, can participate in on-the-job training, and can more easily demonstrate their skills and accomplishments to leadership.

Face-to-face interactions with managers and senior leaders allow employees to build stronger relationships and showcase their potential. This increased visibility can lead to promotions, stretch assignments, and other career advancement opportunities that may be harder to come by when working remotely.

The office environment also facilitates informal learning and knowledge sharing among colleagues. Employees can observe and learn from their peers, pick up new skills, and gain insights into different aspects of the business. This organic exchange of ideas and expertise contributes to professional growth and helps employees expand their skill sets.

In conclusion, while remote work has its advantages, the benefits of working in an office cannot be overlooked. From fostering a sense of purpose and belonging to driving productivity, collaboration, and career growth, the workplace plays a vital role in the success and well-being of employees. As businesses navigate the future of work, finding the right balance between remote and in-office work will be key to creating a thriving workplace culture that supports both individual and organizational goals.

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