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Office Choice and Employee Engagement



The conclusion from the research is remarkable.

Virtual Workers are twice as engaged as their office-bound colleagues if they feel that they are part of a team… is a conclusion one can draw from a Recent Research Published in Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2019/05/engagement-around-the-world-charted



To quote,  “Regular communication with colleagues is important, of course. But as anyone who has worked in an open office can attest, the ability to minimize distractions is crucial to engagement. The critical factor is whether virtual workers feel that they’re part of a team. If they do, they’re twice as engaged as their office-bound colleagues.”

Although distraction free work in important, there are times when we need team interactions. Technology can come to the rescue here. Modern video conferencing software, collaboration tools, and task management systems help us get work done. Even if the team members are remote collaboration can happen. But there are times when the team has to get together and discuss things face to face. After all face to face interactions are a lot more effective for brainstorming and also for those casual conversations much needed for team coordination and bonding.



When the need for face to face collaboration on a day to day basis is not required, it makes sense to work from home, avoid commute time, stay in touch with the team using an intranet and collaboration tools and once in a while have productive team meetings in private meeting rooms.

Other research says that it is important that employees spend less time in the workspace. This is the reason many companies are trying a 4 day work week, giving employees more time off. When teams spend less time interacting with each other, it becomes even more important that they are on the same page. Technology can go only so far in solving collaboration problems. Spending one or two hours working together in a private distraction free environment allows team members to collaborate better. Solving tough issues is easier when everyone is in the same room.

Sometimes team leaders have to have involved discussions and provide critical feedback. A video call just doesn’t capture the seriousness of the situation, unlike a face to face meeting does. This is just one of those situations where being in the same room is more important than communicating remotely.

As teams grow and add new members, it becomes important to change and improve processes. Trying to do this remotely can cause unnecessary chaos. Process creation, strategy sessions, process changes, change management decisions, etc.are better discussed in a face-to-face environment. 

As a remote worker, in person meetings can become stressful. Therefore it is important to choose a location and space that is distraction free. Some best practices to conduct a successful in person meeting :

  1. Have a meeting agenda with clear objectives
  2. Set a start time and end time, and stick to it.
  3. One person leads the meeting and ensures the agenda followed.
  4. Plan an outcome for the meeting and drive the meeting towards that outcome.
  5. Team meetings should not become a conference, cut down on the number of attendees
  6. Take notes and communicate next actions clearly.
  7. A tip from Amazon: To save the company time overall, distribute reading material in the meeting, and ensure everyone reads, before discussing.

In Golden Square, we understand the need for such teamwork, which increases engagement and team collaboration. Our Meeting rooms can be taken by the hour and comes equipped with projectors, Wifi, and whiteboards. It’s an environment conducive for involved discussions and planning which cannot happen virtually. 

The advantage of working virtually and meeting possibly 2 to 4 times a month is that team member engagement goes up, while also cutting down office overheads. One does not need a full-fledged office all the time. Just leverage Golden Square to have an effective office. How much does it cost? Checkout this blog on how a Team of 5 have an effective office for Rs.11,425 per month. LINK

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