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over 1 year ago by HR Grapevine

Top reasons staff have missed the office during COVID-19

Canva   Business People Taking A Coffee Break And Talking

​Office workers have shared what they miss most about being in a physical workplace, having worked remotely for the past seven months, with many longing for gossip, their desk and meetings with colleagues.

Since the pandemic disrupted working life, employees have had to get used to their new working quarters at home, where little conversation and interaction with co-workers takes place.

Now for the 2,000 workers surveyed by RAJA UK – as was reported by SWNS Digital – it seems that speaking to people face-to-face topped the list of the most missed aspects of being in a central workplace.

For others, having the right equipment including printers and multiple screens also ranked highly, while others missed food and drink. In fact, 14% said that they missed tea rounds while 17% long for the days where co-workers would take in birthday treats.

65% of respondents shared that they appreciate the social side of work now more than ever, with 51% missing the office banter. In addition, one in five stated that they miss lunch break walks with their colleagues.

These stats were also reflected by Chris Liddell, Product and Purchasing Director at RAJA UK, who added that many employees took things for granted when offices were open.

“There are clearly many things people took for granted this time last year, from the social side of working with colleagues daily, to equipment and furniture such as desks, chairs and storage,” he said.

Others (41%) have also struggled with deciding what to eat for lunch, while some have missed their daily commute and dressing in office attire.

Top 10 most missed things about the workplace:

  1. Being face-to-face with people

  2. The office banter

  3. Simply asking someone a question out loud rather than messaging

  4. Working in a team

  5. Your office desk

  6. Hearing office gossip

  7. Your office chair

  8. Catching up about people's weekends

  9. The printer

  10. Lunch break walks with colleagues

Utilising tech

Despite this, more than three-quarters have kept in touch with their colleagues while working from home during the pandemic, with many leaning on technology to make it possible. For example, 56% said that they have used video calls to catch up with one another.

There’s no doubt that the current crisis has forced employers and employees to embrace tech and its ability to keep everyone connected when working remotely. So much so that usage of video conferencing software from Zoom increased 30-fold in April, during the height of the pandemic. At its peak, the business counted more than 300million daily participants in virtual meetings, while paying customers have more than tripled, reported the BBC.

It’s therefore worthwhile for HR leaders to utilise tech to help bridge the gap for staff while working from home. By encouraging employees to communicate with colleagues over video calls or to attend virtual events and workshops, and use messaging platforms such as Slack to keep in touch regularly, employees may start to feel like a little bit of the office is with them at home.

Source: HR Grapevine