Gift Card Blog
Companies spend enormous amounts of money on corporate office spaces, with interior designers crafting the meeting room structure, perfect lounge space, and managing individual phone calls while keeping a sense of community within the office environment. Millions of dollars have been spent in both inspiring and executing services like corporate dry cleaning services, in-office cafeterias, and day care solutions to maximize productivity and give employees reasons to stay in the office more.
Then came COVID-19, and most of those spaces are now empty, employees encouraged or forced to work from home. Not only that, but with schools closed, employees have a much more challenging environment than if they were choosing to work remotely in the past.
In addition, expectations for performance while remote are clearly more stringent. Before, working remote had a sense of aloofness—as in “I get to work remote today,” usually indicating an early end to the day, or at least fewer or less intense meetings.
Now video conference calls are the new norm, and workers either have the opportunity to carve out a space for themselves and make it presentable, or we get to look at our colleagues’ corner of their bedroom, watch them balancing on the kitchen chair, trying to balance their laptop on their knees, amid furniture ransacked from other rooms to make things work.
It seemed like it might be a couple weeks of making it work and then we’d be back in offices. However, as the amount of time that employee remains remote continues to stretch on, businesses are finding solutions for the challenges to make employees more comfortable, and to grapple with the concept that trusting employees to actually work from home may actually be a positive thing for the company, and may make corporate spaces less important.
For those companies finding success with remote workers, and considering continuing remote workplace, even temporarily, we need to be intentional about supporting employees—in the same way we were intentional about creating a productive office space. We need to bring that creativity and intent to the employee’s home office environment.
Crate and Barrel has been at the forefront of this movement. Home office products are at the top of the list for online orders, along with essentials like cookware. Employees need lighting, desks, chairs, bookcases, and organizational items to manage their work environment and keep it separate from their home environment.
Crate and Barrel’s best sellers during this crisis are the Atwod Reclaimed Wood Desk, Ripple Black Leather office Chair and Morris 48” Chocolate Brown Writing Desk. These essential office pieces are key ingredients to supporting employees in their home environment, and making them more productive and deliver the same performance they would in the office. Employees feel more comfortable showing their space to their co-workers, business partners, or sales prospects, and won’t be encouraged to opt out of the video call due to their surroundings.