Who would have thought that working from a virtual office would be so commonplace. Now that many are working from kitchens, spare rooms, garages or home offices (if you’re really lucky)… well, office culture seems to be taking a backseat to online working relationships
In this new landscape where remote working has become a widespread necessity, employers used to the traditional model are finding unexpected benefits. Reduced overheads, increased productivity, and less absenteeism are some examples. For many employees there are perks to working from home too. They can now enjoy more flexibility, extra focus, and no commute. The positives don’t stop there though. Here are six aspects of office life that we feel are better left in the past.
Look closely and you’ll find them in most workplaces; office politics are just a fact of life. However, the shift onto IM, email, and conference calls leaves much less room for getting bogged down in toxic office culture. Whilst not completely banished, it seems that remote working promotes more of a ‘focus-on-the-job-at-hand’ approach to the day. And an office free from mind games has got to be a good thing.
Privacy, hygiene, awkward interactions at the sink with your boss who you’ve now got to sit in a two-hour meeting with. These are all issues that can and do pop up when you have to share facilities with your co-workers. Thankfully working from home means there’s much less to cringe about.
Feeling comfortable at work should be a given. Even down to the clothes we wear. Working from home takes the focus off superficial appearances and leaves us all to just get on with our jobs. If you’re still performing whilst wearing your PJs, isn’t that the same as doing a good job in conservative office attire? Of course, for those who miss the feeling of a suit and tie or pencil skirt and blazer, there’s nothing stopping you wearing that if you prefer.
Forced attempts to build an office culture are never fun. Team-building offsites and away days don’t always foster the sense of togetherness that they’re meant to promote. When it’s done well and left to evolve naturally, office culture can thrive. When it’s not, it can feel endless and actually drive people apart even further. One subtle but significant upside of remote working is that it leaves space for genuine interactions between colleagues who actually want to socialise and build bonds that help them collaborate at a higher level.
Smalltalk… high on most people’s list of office distractions and interruptions. It might be a ‘comfort zone’ for many who feel the need to fill the silence – but how useful is it? And, without it, how much time would we save? Luckily, for those who prefer genuine interaction, remote working has seriously reduced smalltalk (and our shared knowledge of what everyone in the office did at the weekend). This shift means that we’re more likely to have truly authentic conversations with our colleagues… and that can only be a good thing.
Remote working made easy
In days gone by, when we didn’t have as much readily available tech to help us, working from home wasn’t as feasible. RingCentral Office is a good example of innovation that can help employers make sure that working remotely is seamless. However big your team is, Office makes connecting with colleagues and getting things done much more simple. So with conventional office life slowly shifting towards a more flexible, online working environment, we can make the most of software to stay in touch with our team and get the best of both worlds.
Originally published 14 Jan, 2021, updated 13 Jan, 2023