Return to the Office - Our Survey Results

AT TINTO, we have been slowly edging back into the office in a blended way, but we were interested to see what those around us were doing. We recently carried out a survey around attitudes on returning to the office, to find out how people were really feeling about the change we are all facing; the results were very interesting!

To get a general consensus for how people would like to be working going forward, we simply asked which environment people would prefer to work in, and 90% of people have a preference for the blended approach – a mix between days at home and time in the office. The freedom that comes with blended working has a huge benefit on not only our personal lives, but also our performance at work.

Now that we can work in an office again, given the choice, over half (54%) of people decided that 3 days a week would be the optimum time to spend in the office, with the remaining days spent at home. A further 27% said they would ideally be in the office 2 days a week, where they could catch up with colleagues and attend team or client meetings – both of which were highlighted as things that people missed most when working remotely and interacting over video calls.

Flexibility and a better work/life balance were what the majority of people (78% and 70% respectively) are most looking forward to about blended working, with 35% also excited by having extra time to spend with family and friends. Blended working promotes a better work/life balance, allowing employees to fit personal appointments and commitments around their working hours – it really is the future concept for working, and it’s clear people are benefitting from it.

No commute time is another major perk, with almost half of the people who answered our survey (49%) being excited about this extra time they will gain each day when not travelling to the office. It was surprising to see that only 32% of people said they would use time gained back from commuting to work more, as this was an easy trap to fall into when we first came into lockdown. The majority (51%) of people would spend this extra time with friends and family, and around 30% of participants opting to relax and pursue hobbies and interests – both of which would have positive impacts on wellbeing. Some people added they were excited about having no distractions while home working, and being able to knuckle down and get work done when needed, yet also relieved that brainstorming sessions and team meetings could resume in person. We are often at our best when we come together to bring creative thinking and problem solving to a room!

Our time working at home has proven our ability to adapt and entirely change our ethos for working. This may have taught us we are capable of working in new ways, however, there are certain face to face qualities that can’t be matched virtually. Meetings and client faced work will always be better face to face, and it seems that people agree, with 56% of answers stating they find team meetings and client meetings are better done at the office. Only 31% found focused work was done better at the office, with the majority finding it easier to do this at home, while using the office for collaborating, brainstorming and sharing ideas with colleagues.

This question also highlighted the importance of those “invaluable 30 second conversations that we can only have surrounded by our team” – we are all human and need this type of social interaction in our days to allow us to be the best we can be.

We posed an open question, where people could leave their hopes and fears around returning to the office. We got some great answers, which made us think about how people, for the most part, see the new blended ways of working as a huge positive to our overall lifestyle, as we learn and adapt to the new post-Covid world. The main concerns people had were around a loss of balance, and fears that employers will not continue with the flexible, hybrid model of working for the long term. Alongside this, there were fears that we would fall back into the old expectation of 9-5 in the office, forgetting what we have learned from the last 15 months, and possibly resulting in burnout, and missing family moments that we have been able to experience over the last year.

At TINTO, we are passionate about creating non-traditional work spaces, allowing people to be their best, in their best environments. These offices and workspaces present a chance to accelerate how we work, taking cognizance of all we have learned about what may have been good about our workplaces and all that are bad, resulting in a space that allows your teams creativity to flow and your clients and customers to be inspired!

The past year has given us the chance to evaluate how we work and allow employees to be their best, in their best environments – away from the traditional office environment and 9-5 working hours, and our survey results have showed that the majority of us agree.