Many professionals have spent the past year working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The welcome arrival of vaccines has employers eagerly preparing to bring their teams back to the office. After months of wearing pajamas, sitting through countless Zoom meetings and juggling homeschooling, an overwhelming number of employees are excited to return to a corporate setting.
In fact, one survey found 94 percent of employees want to return to the office for at least one day or more once they can do so safely, while 46 percent want to return to a full five-day workweek in the office. After months of making their own coffee, preparing lunch and troubleshooting IT issues on their own, it appears professionals have a newfound appreciation for their office perks.
A slew of surveys all found that the number one thing people miss about their workplace is spending time face-to-face with their colleagues. While video conferencing was a great meeting tool during the pandemic, it was never a sufficient replacement for in-person collaboration, water cooler talk, or the spontaneous conversations that occur in hallways or lunchrooms.
When people are in the same room as their colleagues, they can build strong relationships and participate in the traditions and events that define a company’s culture. Expect lots of enthusiasm for the return of celebrations for birthdays, work anniversaries, baby showers, retirements, happy hours and any other event that allows people to connect with their colleagues.
Food is another important aspect of the workplace, and many workers are hungry for a change to their daily routine. A PR News Twitter survey asked their followers what they are looking forward to most about returning to the office: water cooler gossip, free snacks, not wearing pjs all day or no more homeschooling. Free snacks were the hands-down winner. Another perk of being in the office is the nearby lunch options, like cafés or delis to grab a quick bite or trying new restaurants that open up nearby.
Employees appreciate being able to balance all the great office food and birthday cake with being active. The Gwendolyn in Glen Lennox is surrounded by bike lanes, green spaces and trailways — perfect for walking meetings — and also features a state-of-the-art fitness center with strength, cycling, rowing, group fitness, core and stretch stations, and locker rooms. For those who had their fitness routine interrupted by the pandemic, they will enjoy taking advantage of these facilities before, after or during work.
Lastly, a return to the office helps to create more separation between work and home life, which working parents especially will appreciate. Having an established routine and better-defined boundaries has been scientifically proven to increase productivity and support better mental health. Now, if we could go ahead and come in tomorrow, that’d be great!