Kate Hawkesby: Working at the office is better than working at home

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Thu, 5 Aug 2021, 11:41AM
(Photo / Getty Images)
(Photo / Getty Images)

Kate Hawkesby: Working at the office is better than working at home

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Thu, 5 Aug 2021, 11:41AM

As the UK asks people working from home to get back to the office, a new survey out here shows that office workers are actually “more satisfied in their jobs than non-office workers”.

'Skills Consulting Group's Work Wellbeing survey', it's been reported, looked at '1600 staff and human resources managers' and in terms of dissatisfaction in the workplace it had 'health workers, teachers and tradies at the top of the list'.

It’s the office workers who have a higher wellbeing score. It’s assumed this is because they feel a stronger connection directly to their workplace, they have regular supports in place, they’re anchored somewhere. So that chit chat round the coffee machine and regular touching base with colleagues in meetings, is actually good for you apparently. It’s connection.

It’s also one of the main reasons the UK is encouraging people back to the office. A lot of the connectivity in workplaces has been lost during Covid. Zoom just doesn’t cut it. The British Finance Minister says strong relationships are formed for particularly young people, when they’re physically able to be in the office. It’s important for mental health, for forming friendships, and for feeling part of the team.

So how many of us are taking our office for granted when in fact we're getting benefits from being in it?

And what about those who don’t work in an office?

Drivers, nurses, tradies, teachers, retail staff, it turns out their 'wellbeing scores' were a lot lower than office workers.

Jane Kennelly from Skills Consulting Group is reported as saying this is because those people can feel "forgotten about".

She says what’s needed in those industries is "More personalised tools, more check-ins to ensure those who work outside or in a different way to a conventional office still feel part of the team.”

So how is that possible when your workers are driving trucks or in a classroom?

Well I would’ve thought it’s down to attitude.

A furniture removal company we know of cooks its staff breakfast each day before they hit the road. It's a chance for the team to touch base, connect, start the day on the right foot. But that takes a desire from management to make it happen.

And everything comes back to culture nowadays anyway doesn’t it.

Workers want a good culture, they thrive in a good culture, it promotes connection and a sense of belonging.

Wellbeing is paramount in terms of what workers are after in the modern workplace. I don’t even think that’s a high expectation anymore, I think its standard. So I guess it behoves management in those non-office workplaces to work harder to ensure a good culture. 

Turns out our wellbeing depends on it.