Tempt Workers Back to the Office With Acoustic Booths in the UK

Every UK business owner knows that 2023 is not 2019. The pandemic has changed many things, especially how office workers feel about coming to work every day. While a few couldn’t wait to get back to a shared working experience, others have been more reluctant to return. A handful have simply refused.

Is it a big deal? Well, yes, it is because there are crucial benefits your employees and company can’t get from working remotely. However, to convince them it’s a good idea to come back, you’ll probably need to make some concessions and a few office improvements.

Giving them quiet places to work in the office is a critical part of the equation. Let’s explore why office working matters and the role of acoustic booths in UK workers returning to the office.

Why Workers Need the Office

No, we’re not talking about the antics of Ricky Gervais or Michael Scott. We mean the collaborative workspace that most businesses need to thrive. While you may not require your workers to be there all the time, even progressing them onto a hybrid model from a fully remote one can be beneficial.

There are at least four key advantages that come from office working:

  • Organisational culture: It’s tough for anyone to learn this over Teams. It requires human interaction to pick up cues about your company’s values. Offices allow for informal information sharing and creative moments that may be hard to create remotely.

  • High-quality working environment: Your employees may technically be able to do their jobs remotely. However, is their home really the best working environment? Most people do better in a well-designed office with the right equipment. Giving them quiet spaces, like soundproof pods, could help them reach new levels of productivity.
  • Clear division between work and home: When people work from home, it can be hard to make a clear distinction between work and personal time. In a recent survey, 65% of UK workers said work-life balance was more important than pay and benefits. The right office environment can facilitate that.
  • Build strong networks: Remote working can dramatically shrink the number of people your workers interact with. Spontaneous connections are almost impossible to create digitally, and your employees could become isolated and disengaged.

It’s clear that a full-time return to the office for all workers is unlikely in many businesses. Yet there are still many benefits to getting workers back, at least some of the time. So how can you overcome resistance and make your team members an offer they can’t refuse?

How to Overcome Return to Office Resistance

You need to win employees' hearts and minds to harness office working benefits. You must convince your team that spending at least some of their time in the office is a good thing. Of course, you can make office attendance compulsory, which may bring a large majority back in. Yet you’ll probably find that a negotiated approach achieves greater buy-in from workers in the long run.

It all starts with discovering exactly why people don’t want to come into the office. Commenting on return to office resistance, the Harvard Business Review divided people into five categories:

  • Active resisters
  • Passive resisters
  • Neutrals
  • Passive supporters
  • Active supporters

Active supporters are easy; they’re on your side, and may be helpful in convincing passive supporters and neutral parties to return to the office. So your focus needs to be on the passive and active resisters.

These people will have their own reasons for their return to office resistance, so give them time and space to make those known. It might be something as simple as wanting to be able to take a nap at lunchtime. Others have concerns about juggling childcare or other family responsibilities. Still others may dread returning to the noisy hubbub of a busy office environment and struggling to find quiet spaces for important calls and meetings.

It’s important to understand that for many people, the return to the office is about control. At home, they feel in control of their environment, especially after a deeply disconcerting few years. But once you know why they’re reluctant to come back, you can work with them to plan their return in a way that works for them.

As McKinsey & Company encourage, make the return a choice, not a challenge. Make sure you have the right furniture and tech in the office to help them see the benefits of returning. And if they’re concerned about quiet and privacy, the lure of soundproof pods may be enough to tempt them back into the office fold.

Acoustic Booths in UK Office Life

Acoustic pods are a fantastic solution for overcoming British return to office resistance. This is especially true for those who feel the office is overstimulating and distracting. As we’ve seen, the return to the office is about control. Soundproof booths can give your workers control over their environment, making a return to the office a much more tempting proposition.

There are several acoustic booth options available. These range from one-person office phone pods for complete alone time to meeting booths that can accommodate a group of six people.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Provide a sanctuary to escape to, promoting concentration and good mental health
  • A private environment for important or confidential phone calls or Zoom meetings
  • A quiet, collaborative space away from the distractions of the office

Soundproof pods help workers feel productive, whether working alone or as a team. When your workers feel more productive and fulfilled in their roles, they'll embrace returning to the office.

Harness Office Working Benefits with Acoustic Booths

Whether you want your workers back full-time or just a few days a week, getting the office environment right is crucial. Give your workers as much control as possible by providing options that enhance their ability to concentrate.

At Soundbox Store, we have acoustic booths for offices of all sizes. Our plug-and-play installation means there’s no renovation involved, and you can move the pods whenever you like. Whatever business you are in, we have solutions to help your employees thrive.

Contact us to learn more today!