07 April 2022. The easing of the Covid-19 restrictions, two years after the start of the pandemic, strengthens the prospects of employees returning to the office, but also increasingly highlights the effects of the lack of physical interaction between employees and teams during this time. Thus, 82.6% of employees say that working from home has affected their relationship with the team. Today, nearly 88% of employees who have returned to the office or work in a hybrid system with predominantly physical presence say they spend a good amount of time interacting and collaborating directly with colleagues when they are in the office, according to a recent survey of 1,073 employees nationwide by Genesis Property.
3 out of 10 employees say that the lack of physical interaction and collaboration has had an effect on their career development, over 38% feel that working from home has also affected their day-to-day activity at work, and about as many believe that also the company's business can suffer in the long run in a remote working system. Physical interaction among employees currently focuses on project collaboration or team activities (63.5%), and on socialising (23.5%).
”The importance of workplace interaction has become increasingly clear in the last years, and solid career development, especially for those just starting, cannot take shape without this collaborative component. Physical interaction in the office, whether in a formal or informal setting, provides the opportunity for a much more detailed and nuanced understanding of the work environment and the steps that need to be taken to move up the career ladder”, says Teodor Stoica, Human Resources Manager at Genesis Property.
This is strengthened by the fact that nearly 95% of respondents believe that young employees, at the beginning of their career, would benefit more in their careers if they came into the office at least a few days a week.
“Moreover, equally important are the obvious benefits of physical interaction on each individual, as being around our peers can positively affect our mental and physical health”, adds Teodor Stoica.
Healthy indoor spaces support faster return to the office
Even though Romania ended the state of alert, the health of indoor spaces remains an important concern for employees. Nearly 92% of respondents say additional measures are needed in offices to better protect employees' health, the Genesis Property survey also shows.
This confirms the need for long-term solutions that turn offices into platforms that truly support collaboration and real interaction, but also limit health risks. IMMUNE Building Standard™, initiated by Genesis Property in 2020, was specifically designed to reduce both current and future health threats.
The Genesis Property survey on employees' perception of health within the built environment and office work was conducted nationwide in February 2022 via the iVox platform on a total sample of 1,073 internet users in Romania. Some 57% of participants are women, over 60% are aged between 20 and 40, and 60% have a net income of more than 3,000 lei.