We know the basics – reduce, reuse, and recycle, but there’s a whole load of other changes we can make to our daily lives to help turn the tide on climate change.
One such solution also poses a lot of extra benefits too, and that’s by switching to flexible, hybrid working.
“How does this help?” We hear you ask. Let us explain.
Not going into the office can help reduce commuting time and methods considerably – with traffic and congestion being one of the leading causes of climate change. If you don’t need to commute to the office every day, that’s already a huge step in reducing carbon emissions. Just take a look at last year’s pandemic. The resulting shift from office life to WFH in early 2020 caused such a drop in air pollution it was visible from space.
Obviously, we can’t work from home five days a week forever, as much as some of us may like too. Not only can it negatively impact mental health and productivity, it may not be as good for the environment as first thought, with energy consumption increasing at home.
But with heading into the office every day not being sustainable either, what’s the happy medium?
Shared workspaces are increasingly looked towards as a solution to office life and the climate crisis. There’s a few reasons for this. More often than not, shared workspaces aim to be as accessible as possible. They can easily be accessed via foot, bike, or public transport – cutting down the need to use your car.
Sharing is caring with shared workspaces – literally. A shared workspace means the sharing of resources, resulting in less waste overall. From printers and projectors, to fridges and coffee machines, sharing these resources amongst us rather than using them individually at home can save on waste and energy.
Plenty of shared workspaces are also clocking on to the fact that workers don’t just want a nice flex office to work in – they want it to be green too. More and more eco-friendly workspaces are popping up the world over, offering environmentally friendly fittings and features, and repurposing old buildings for their locations.
Finding a green, local shared workspace might seem like a tall order, but don’t worry. We’ve figured it out for you.
At Wise, we strive to make ourselves as local as possible. We collaborate with the hidden gems and the best hotspots in your area. Not only does this make choosing Wise the most accessible option, it also makes it the greener choice as well. Why take the car to the office when you can stroll down to your favorite local cafe or that museum around the corner you’ve been dying to visit?
Sounds good, but how do you find these locations? Don’t worry, we’ve covered that too. Head over to our main site to browse work spots in your area, and reserve with our handy booking app.
You can find out more about our benefits and how Wise works by checking our FAQ here.
While the office-purists and remote-lovers hold polarising views, their preferences are rooted in similar reasons. Some find working in an office makes them more productive, while others find the solace of their own home more beneficial. Some prefer socialising with colleagues, while others just don’t. And a large reason, perhaps the biggest, is mental health.
For the more introverted amongst us, it’s easy to see why working from home is such a hoot. Internal communications got stripped down to its bare bones and socialising went out of the window. Water cooler breaks got replaced with catching up on chores like laundry and no longer did you have to endure your colleagues’ updates about their children/pets/houseplants.
This isn’t to say that it’s been all plain sailing. Introverted people are just as able to feel lonely and isolated as extroverts if they feel disconnected and alienated, and can actually benefit from mingling with colleagues and working on location, at least to a certain degree. But despite this, the return to the office is creating a significant amount of anxiety for those who’ve grown accustomed to the shift.
For the more extroverted amongst us, working from home has been an annoyance at best and mentally taxing at worst. Extroverts thrive on socialising, love nailing every meeting, and relish face-to-face conversations. With that taken out of the work-life equation, they can find themselves isolated, unengaged, and lacking in productivity. The combined toll of losing interest in work and feeling alone can have detrimental impacts on their mental health. As such, a large portion is looking forward to returning to the office.
As we move towards a more open, post-COVID world, it’s important for employers to maintain their employees’ wellbeing and safety in all aspects. That includes mental health and wellbeing surrounding returning to the office too. But if a workforce has such wildly different needs as we’ve seen above, how do you accommodate them all?
Truth is, you can never get it perfect but you can get pretty close with hybrid working. It’s a blend of working from the office, from home, and from a different location – the third workplace. The third workplace allows employees to switch it up from time to time, choosing where they’d like to go that suits them – either a bustling coworking location or a quiet cafe tucked away in a museum.
For hybrid working, we recommend a 2-2-1 approach. That’s two days in the office, two at home, and one at a third location. But really, employees can mix it up however they feel. This relaxed approach allows for employees to find a rhythm and routine that suits their needs, whilst maintaining a strong degree of productivity and creativity.
Want to find out more about how your business can introduce hybrid working? Head over to our website to learn more about us and how we can help.
Some offices are back to business, some are still staggering the amount of staff they have in, and some workplaces have opted not to forgo the office entirely. But whatever decision has been made about a workplace, not everyone will be happy about it. There’s a lot of conflicting opinions over working from home, and has revealed a, not an entirely unexpected, generational divide.
According to research, it’s millennials and zoomers who appear to be struggling the most with working from home. Yeah, we were surprised too. A study with 1000 participants revealed that zoomers were the most pro-office, with 8.1% having an actively negative experience with WFH. Millennials weren’t far behind at 7.4%. Another study corroborated this with 34% of zoomers stating that they found themselves to be their most productive when in the office.
So, what’s the reason?
Millennials, in their late twenties and thirties now, might have young families which proved to be particularly challenging when the stay at home orders were in place and children couldn’t attend school or nursery. However, despite these issues, millennials also like WFH options as it allows greater flexibility for childcare.
Zoomers and some younger millennials also struggle with noises and distractions at home, albeit for slightly different reasons. Shared accommodation is fairly common for these age brackets, meaning that they’re working alongside others who are either working from home themselves, or work on swing schedules that can be distracting.
Dealing with feelings of isolation was also a common problem experienced with younger generations while WFH. Socialising with colleagues, collaborating on group projects, and being mentored are all perks of office life, which younger workers are missing out on which could negatively impact their work and feeling satisfied. Newer workers also rely on positive feedback from mentors and colleagues to understand how they’re progressing, something that has fallen by the wayside during WFH and has negatively impacted confidence.
Of course, we can’t speak for everyone. Millennials and zoomers disproportionately make up the majority of freelancers and digital nomads; for them, going sans-office is just part of the job description. But for regular workers, it’s clear that the return to office life is a welcome one.
And for the older generations? Despite early teething issues with technology (“You’re on mute, Barbara”) and getting used to the change, boomers and Gen-Xers have taken to the change like ducks to water and – also surprisingly – prefer it. In the same Hubble study, just 4.3% of boomers and Gen-Xers said they disliked working from home, with a staggering 71.7% saying they had a positive experience with it – 8% more than Gen-Z.
There’s no surprises why WFH is popular with them. After a couple of decades of waking up early and heading to work, it’s easy to see how they’d be, quite frankly, over it and relish the chance to not have to worry about getting to the office on time for a change. Unlike their younger colleagues, WFH also poses a lot less obstacles and distractions for them. Employees in these age brackets tend to have their own homes, some have room to spare for a converted office, any children will have grown up and moved on, and there’s no housemates to deal with. Their seniority also plays a part in being comfortable working away from the office. Having been in the workforce longer, they know what needs to be done and what is expected of them.
So, how do you keep everyone happy? It can be hard to find the perfect fit, but the best approach is flexibility. Giving employees the option to choose where they spend their working weeks and when they spend it allows for them to take control over their schedules and tasks, as well giving them a strong feeling of agency and trust. But some need to go beyond just the regular office and their homes, workers need extra stimulation and change too. The challenge is combining all of these aspects into one fluid working week.
We propose hybrid working. It’s a blend of working in the office, home, and another different location that can be anywhere an employee likes. This hybrid model ensures that everyone’s needs are met, while also inspiring change and creativity, creating a happier, more productive workforce.
Want to introduce a hybrid working model to your office? Why not support your employees with encouraging and funding remote working? Wise is a handy app that lets workers book pay-to-use spots in inspirational co-working locations across the country. Head to our FAQ for more.
Don’t just take us at face value though; there’s science to back it up. A joint research project between New York University and the University of Miami has found that “new and diverse experiences are linked to enhanced happiness” which has a direct correlation with increased brain activity.
We need new stimuli to keep our brain functioning at a healthy level. New sights, sounds, thoughts, languages, and experiences all contribute. Things like exploring new cities on your weekends, finding a new route to work, or finding new places in the area to visit can have a tremendous positive impact on brain function and overall happiness. We’ve all felt invigatored from a good holiday, right? But it’s not just better mental health that’s a huge benefit, improved happiness has been proven to lead to higher levels of productivity.
Happiness being linked to increased productivity isn’t a concept we’re unfamiliar with, but a recent study from the past two years has found that happy workers can be more productive by 13%, establishing a strong causal link between the two for the first time.
More recently, employers have started to wake up to this realisation and look for ways to increase overall employee satisfaction but it’s not always easy. Let’s face it. Our jobs can get repetitive. We go to the same locations, take the same, and meet the same people. And while every day we have new things to tackle within our work, sometimes we can be lumped with a project that can drag on for weeks and weeks. It can be hard to find inspiration and change, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth finding.
So, in the world of work where nothing really seems to change, how do you stay on top of your game? That answer is easy: by shaking up the location you work from.
In a post-COVID world, it looks like hybrid working is here to stay as employees switching between working in the office and working at home has become the norm. But why should we limit ourselves to just our offices and houses if we can boost productivity and happiness by discovering something new each week?
At Wise, we’re big believers in the so-called “third workplace” – which is essentially a third location that can change where an employee spends a portion of their working week alongside working from home and in the office. Our proposed 2-2-1 model (2 days at home, 2 days at the office, and 1 day in a different location) means that employees can be there for that super-important meeting, be there for that delivery they’re expecting, and boost their happiness and productivity levels all in one week. Pretty great, huh?
Want to shake things up yourself but don’t want the commitment of a coworking membership? Book a Wise spot instead. Wise is a pay-per-use app that books you in for a work spot in a variety of inspirational locations around the Netherlands.