Working from home has been a dream come true for many American employees since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in 2020. Prior to the pandemic, remote work was gaining ground, and was certainly a popular idea among workers. However, it maintained a level of resistance from those higher up on the corporate ladder.
When COVID hit and forced us all to stay in our houses, there was only one option for anyone who wished to keep their business running and keep working. Remote work has now become very much the “new normal” and it doesn’t look as though this norm will ever return to the former.
Although the majority of employees, and even the companies they work for, are happy with the change overall, two plus years in, we are very much aware of the downsides.
One of the biggest issues is Zoom fatigue. Waiting for meetings to start takes more than 10 minutes per meeting and workers find the experience much more draining than physical meetings. Seeing faces via camera can make them seem unnaturally close, and constantly seeing oneself on camera is no friend to mental health.
Beyond this, US employees report simply missing the casual conversations and interactions that take place in a physical office. Water cooler chats and other pleasantries have been all but eradicated in this new working system.
It’s clear that along with this new normal, we must find tools to do things differently in the remote world. We need a digital system that allows for the simple, yet vitally important casual human to human connection.
Thankfully, there is such a solution. Virtual offices might be just the answer we’re looking for. With floors, rooms, and even a water cooler station, virtual offices can bring the “casual” back to office culture.