Andy Hemming, of ActionCOACH Black Country, believes that a physical return to the workplace is important for communication, culture, and productivity.
“Many businesses have now had staff working from home for more than a year, and while it was necessary during the throes of the pandemic, as things start to return to some semblance of normality, I believe it’s vital to get people back together – safely – in a work environment,” he said.
“There’s a lot of debate ranging around working from home versus being in the workplace, but you’ve got to ask which arrangement suits the business – and its staff – better.
“Working from home has meant we’ve lost a lot of personal boundaries, with home life and work blurring together, often to the detriment of one or the other. People have really struggled to put up boundaries and it’s affected their mental health. I’m a firm believer that you should have three bubbles in life – self, family and business – and you have to make time for all three.
“It’s very difficult to put boundaries in place when you’re constantly working from home, because inevitably one area or another starts to encroach, leading to increased stress, reduced focus and lower productivity.
“Having your ‘work’ life mainly in the physical workplace means it’s easier to switch off when you’re at home, and from the business owner’s point of view, it helps hugely with staff productivity. Being together in the workplace also allows for a better culture to be built.”
Mr Hemming, who has consistently been voted in the top five business coaches in the UK since 2014, said the return also gives business owners the perfect opportunity to step back and have a look at what’s working in their team and to change what’s not.
“Most business owners I know are keen to largely get back to having everyone in the office, but they might find they have some staff who put up resistance to returning to work,” he said.