Updated: May 2
The New York Times released a recent article written by Clair Cain Miller that analyses a frequent dilemma: Does chance meetings shift or stifle creativity? Interesting question to address, now more than ever since the work dynamic changed completely during and after the pandemic lock down.
“In-office work is essential for some innovative jobs, like those that involve physical objects, and beneficial for some people, like newly hired employees and those seeking mentors. Yet some creative professionals, like architects and designers, have been surprised at how effective remote work has been during the pandemic, while scientists and academic researchers have long worked on projects with colleagues in other places”.
Team meetings at the office and the usage of co-working spaces can be beneficial. Increases socializing and collaboration. An example of this are the brainstorming sessions that can be more effective than virtual meetings. But, at the same time, in person work may trigger problems such as gender disparity in participation and remuneration, discrimination or exclusion.
“Requiring people to be in the office can drive out innovation, some researchers and executives said, because for many people, in-person office jobs were never a great fit. They include many women, racial minorities and people with caregiving responsibilities or disabilities”.
Is there any solution?
Some experts say that one possible solution is to rethink the concept of ‘office’. This means, not seeing it as a headquarters people go daily to work but instead to be a place where workers go sometimes, for special occasions or group hangouts. Big companies such as Ford and Salesforce are already implementing this.
“One of our big fears is that if we don’t get this right, we create this two-tier employee reality — who’s in the room, who’s not, who’s playing the politics, who’s not,” Mr. Spaulding at Zillow said. “We believe humans want to connect and collaborate. But do you need to do that five days a week, or can you do that once every three”.
At MKThink we are also looking at how working environments can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how those spaces and experiences can be designed considering factors such as wellbeing and productivity.
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