Job advertisements that specify ‘remote’ are now receiving three times the applications of those that do not, other research tells us that 64% of workers would consider quitting if asked to return to the office full-time, and some people, like Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom, have even claimed the return to the office is dead in the water.
After the lockdown, many companies have to lure employees back into the office, as many have found comfort in being absent. Being absent seems to have become the default as we’re only heading to the office for a “good reason”.
And although working from home poses opportunities and advantages, at the same time it takes away something very important: the possibility to casually interact with others. Not only at work, but also during commutes. This so-called social integration is the strongest predictor of living longer, according to longevity researcher Susan Pinker. She talks about the amount of (small) interactions between people, like a chat with the barber, or ordering a cup of coffee on a terrace.
As it is becoming easier for people to stay at home, due to delivery services and remote working facilities, we’re missing out on many possibilities to interact with others. One great example of a brand that facilitates these small interactions is the supermarket chain Jumbo, they opened a ‘kletskassa’. A checkout where, in contrast to the contemporary efficiency race in retail, people like to take their time and have a little chat. How could you facilitate more contact between your employees but also with your customers?