‘Virtual can work, but it cannot replace the value of in-person interaction,’ says Andrew Au
As companies look to the future of work, one expert says they shouldn’t assume everyone prefers to work from home.
“It is far from a good thing for everyone,” said Laurent Lapierre, a professor of workplace behaviour at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management.
“It would be foolish for an organization, and even an employee, to just assume that ‘No problem, this is just the way of the future.… There’s no longer going to be an office space.'”
The pandemic has changed the way we work, turning office hallway chats into instant messages and conference room brainstorm sessions into group video calls.
Many workers are enjoying the flexibility to work in pajamas and avoid highway traffic on their daily commute. But for those who crave the social aspect of working next to colleagues — or the routine that a 9-to-5 office job offers — the switch to working from home has impacted both their mental and physical health, said Lapierre.