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Remote or in-person work? 3 reasons to return to the office

July 6, 2021 / US

With gradual reopening underway, many companies and their employees are navigating the journey back into the office. This shift signifies a return to normal for those itching to get back to their desks. But others may feel wary about reintegrating into the workplace.

To facilitate this transition and meet diverse needs, some companies are adopting a hybrid model, allowing people to work both remotely and on-site. This not only provides ongoing flexibility, but it also allows employees to experience the benefits of working in an office: human connection with colleagues or clients, optimally designed workspaces to maximize productivity, and a greater chance of achieving work-life balance. 

Human connection

More than a year of working remotely drove home the fact that humans are social creatures who crave connection. The office serves as a gathering place to feed that need both personally and professionally. Formal modes of communication, like video calls and digital messages, work from afar, but there’s a certain magic that comes with in-person interactions. 

In fact, a study reported in Harvard Business Review and published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology has shown that face-to-face meetings are 34 times more successful than emails. And in a surprising twist, one survey showed that people actually miss in-person meetings. In-person interactions can also enhance career growth, especially for younger employees building their networks.

Optimal workspaces 

Recent research suggests that environmental prompts can send the human brain into a more focused state, so the repeated act of just sitting down at a desk can lessen distractions. And unlike the living room sofa or kitchen table, offices are designed to maximize productivity. 

Modern workspaces have more light, more space, ergonomic seating, focus areas, and other elements to meet the needs of every working style. In addition, in-office perks like meal programs through Uber Eats can increase morale and help employees optimize the hours spent working. 

Work-life balance 

When the pandemic shuttered offices, it blurred the line between work life and home life. Remote work provides flexibility, but it also makes disconnecting much more difficult. A survey by staffing firm Robert Half shows that remote employees are actually working longer hours, spending more time in virtual meetings and in digital communication channels. This especially affects parents and people under age 40, many of whom reported the need to work weekends.

Half of the participants in another study expressed that they missed commuting, as it creates a routine while providing a buffer between home and the office. It’s a chance to call a friend, listen to a calming playlist, or stop by a favorite coffee shop.

Contributing to commute programs with Uber for Business can also help employees experience the benefits of this transition time without the headache of driving in traffic or missing the bus.

Uber for Business can help your team, whether they’re operating in a hybrid model or back in the office full-time. Learn more about how the platform is supporting global return-to-office efforts.