Along with Deliveroo, Houseparty and TikTok (don’t deny it), the now well-established videoconferencing app, Zoom, was one of the most-used apps at the peak of lockdown. Now, as we all begin to flock back to the office, face-to-face,‘old-fashioned’ meetings are beginning to make a return. However, like apost-weekend hangover on a bright and early Monday morning, Zoom is still niggling around, adequately replacing what would otherwise be a meeting, acoffee, or even an entire conference or event.
Therefore,has Zoom fully automated and replaced the need for meetings, or even entire office spaces? Whilst Zoom has introduced an interesting, convenient alternative, there’s still lots that office spaces and face-to-face interaction have to offer in the modern workplace.
So,what has Zoom brought to the table? There’s plenty of direct benefits to conducting meetings via videoconferencing, as well as lots that can be taken away from our experiences over Zoom and introduced into the office.
Maintaining a healthier work-life balance,which Zoom has certainly allowed us to do during lockdown, should definitely not be abandoned. An enhanced focus upon trips to the gym, learning new skills and socialising can be carried back into the office. At AW Offices, we encourage our co-workers to step away from the screen for a rooftop yoga session, a box-fit class at our local boxing gym and regular discussion and skill exchange within our talented co-working community.
However,despite the convenience of remote working, it is important not to forget the many benefits that come with face-to-face interaction, cultivated by dynamic offices and co-working communities. ‘Water-cooler chat’ and the buzz and banter of office interaction cannot be fully replicated remotely, over a screen. Body language, which the camera does not fully capture, still remains an important tool in conversation and negotiation. Furthermore, the often-underappreciated ingredients that go into designing a dynamic office space vastly improve the quality and productivity of corporate interactions. The lighting, colours,furniture and room shapes of an office all help to create an energetic and motivating workplace.
As we begin to reset alarms, bustle into tube carriages once again and pop in the first Nespresso capsule of many, making the most of that unlimited supply available to AW members, it is important to take aspects of videoconferencing with us. The convenience, improvements in etiquette and incorporation of technology all have a part to play in the modern office environment. However, amodern, dynamic office space, which incorporates the positive lessons learnt from remote working, is the perfect place for productive post-lockdown co-working.