Chamber Chat with Imogen Brettell
Is the office dead?
What on earth did we find to write about, report on and discuss before COVID-19? It’s been such a strange and unsettling time that little else has dominated our thoughts in recent months. Nonetheless, I see this whole situation as an opportunity to improve. We have been forced to try different ways of working and communicating, and to be more tolerant and adaptable to change. We have a new found appreciation for the simple things in life, such as talking to people, enjoying the outdoors, spending quality time with our loved ones and taking a little time to stop and think.
As we have embraced home working across the nation, many are suggesting that this is the end of office life as we know it. But just how true is this?
I’ve been so impressed with our ability to adapt and the variety of great technology that has enabled us to do it. However I am firmly of the belief that a personal, bespoke service can only be effectively delivered by a person. I dislike customer services where I am forced to deal with a computer over the phone or read a list of generic ‘frequently asked questions’ answers on a web page. Furthermore, I believe that to offer these personal services a company must provide personalised responses to individual requirements. When employees build relationships within a great office environment it can enhance their mental health; as human conversation happens so does the cross pollination of ideas. I am a huge supporter of a good work/life balance, but I know that we are better together so I am embracing (from a distance) and encouraging our move back to the office environment and looking forward to the positive outcome that I know will follow.
Written by Imogen Brettell, Chief People Officer at SilverDoor Apartments, Chamber Non-Executive Director and Chamber Ambassador.