As professionals reacquaint themselves with the office, improved productivity and training have often been cited by employers as reasons to return. But doesn’t heading back to a HQ also have benefits for employees?

Tracy Brower, doctor in the sociology of work and author of ‘The Secrets to Happiness at Work’, says the answer is yes. In a recent feature for Forbes, she outlined why interaction with colleagues is, although harder to measure than productivity or attendance, critically important to the success of any business.

The concept of connection at work has, Tracy tells us, been labelled ‘The X Factor’ and stems from the idea that humans have a fundamental need to be united on a common mission and that physically being together facilitates this.

 For businesses, this sense of unity creates a positive obligation to contribute to the group, often leading to greater workplace participation, productivity and motivation.

 For employees, not only does this ‘X Factor’ inspire them but it benefits their health, as it has been proven to release oxytocin and reduce cortisol and adrenocorticotropin, which are associated with high blood pressure, weight gain and heart disease.

 Surely, then, we all need to do a little more to create The X Factor at work? Uniting employees can both bolster a business’ bottom line and look after the health of its workforce. For those currently attempting to recover from the pandemic’s effect on company culture, it has perhaps never been more important to bring teams together.  

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