​We mustn’t lose sight of the role that offices play in two areas that are fundamental to our business: building company culture and helping leaders to lead more effectively. A strong culture works at every level in an organisation. The best are serendipitous organisms and self-perpetuating. They bond people together. They cement an approach and way of working. Strong cultures are created face-to-face during meetings or an after-work beer or pizza, over disagreements and laughs, successes and failures. -Metro

​As organisations, large and small, begin to make decisions about returning to their respective offices, what have the past 4 months taught us about the company cultures we were used to?

Covid-19 has brought about significant change, disruption, and uncertainty for many businesses and their employees.

Whether you work in the public or private sector, the effects of working from home for many has also been profound. Balancing home life and work-life under the same roof has undoubtedly presented challenges.

Personally speaking, having worked from home for the past 4 months and I do actually miss the office environment. Those things we took for granted like face-to-face meetings, catch-ups in the kitchen, shared ideas and impromptu drinks in the pub after work can't be replicated by Zoom calls.

Is the short-term future one that offers more flexibility for employees in the way they can work? Will company cultures have to adapt to attract new talent to them? Is there also an argument that organisations may dispense with permanent offices altogether to keep overheads low?

The rent-a-desk model may not appeal to all, but there are merits in terms of flexible working. I believe, some return to normality would be welcomed, but I also understand that some employees will prioritise safety first, for obvious reasons. But through change, opportunity can also emerge. Organisations now have the chance to shape their working culture all over again. 

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