Is the Traditional Office Space on the Path to Extinction?
The Reality of the Traditional Office
Whether or not you’ve ever worked in a traditional office place, you probably have seen them portrayed throughout different TV shows and movies. Many people have thrown out their own interpretations of the typical nine-to-five business worker across many types of media. One of the most famous examples of this is the show “The Office”, the American version aired by NBC and adapted from the UK show. If you asked someone what they imagined business work to be like they could probably describe to you the white or gray cubicles, chunky computers or silver laptops, and black rolling chairs. The concept of office work isn’t a strange one, however, the idea of actually working in these offices is becoming less and less popular. Even with their dramatized and romanticized versions being depicted across various media, the bleak and quiet working environment is no longer enticing people. That’s just the reality of the traditional office, no one wants to work in those conditions anymore; especially after we were all forced into our homes and many workers got to experience, for the first time, some of the freedom that working from home can provide.
The Pros and Cons
Working in a traditional office does have its upsides, however, many workers are finding that the negatives outweigh the positives.
The traditional office model allows for workplace connection between coworkers and managers which can positively benefit team morale. It can also be a lot easier for management to keep track of their employees in a traditional business environment, a large factor in many companies’ hesitation in letting their workers continue working from home.
However, many employees find it freeing to not have their managers and supervisors watching over their shoulder as they work. Having the constant stress of wanting to perform well all the time for your higher ups can actually have a negative effect on the quality of your work. The traditional office space also provides a lot of resources and utilities that workers simply can’t access from their own home.
Office equipment and technological help can be expensive and it is much easier when you have those things available to you in your office building. The traditional office has no short list of cons, though. The meticulous nine-to-five routine can be very mentally taxing, especially when your work is being done from the same desk every day. There is also the added pressure of taking time to commute to and from work, taking anywhere from a few minutes to hours out of your day. It is hard to keep producing consistent and quality work when you are tired and stressed. Abandoning the traditional office space can mean more freedom in the lives and schedules of workers which can increase their mental well being instead of lowering it.
Why Are We Leaving the Traditional Model Behind?
As the workforce progresses and changes the way workers work is changing as well. Even after the pandemic, more and more businesses are continuing to convert to the hybrid work model. This allows employees to do their job in a mix of working at home, remotely, and meeting in person. Programs like Microsoft Teams and Zoom have made it possible for workers to work from home while also still being able to connect with their team, coworkers, and employees. Coworking spaces also continue to gain popularity as an alternative to the traditional office. These spaces appeal to all different types of people, whatever age or profession. People dislike the traditional office model because its schedule, hours, and environment are far too rigid. Places like coworking spaces are hoping to provide the solutions to these issues. There’s no doubt that a physical office space has its benefits, but those benefits don’t have to come with extreme negatives attached. Coworking spaces want to change the way we think about where we work.