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In the midst of a pandemic that makes thinking impossible and economic hardships, there is constant talk of "returning to normal." However, perhaps it's time to consider that what we call normal may not exist at all! In fact, it might be time to wish for the absence of what is imposed as normal, to strive for its absence, to seek ways for it not to exist...

So, what is the new normal in work? There's hardly a day that goes by without thinking about it... Is working from home really better than working from the office?

You've probably encountered many people who say, "I'm more productive when I work from home." Is it really so? Can an employee truly be more efficient via video conferencing?

There's an algorithm for increasing revenue in service industries: every one percent improvement in service climate increases a company's revenue by two percent.¹ But what does working from the office have to do with the work climate?

One of the most interesting characteristics of human beings is that we are emotionally open systems. This means we are influenced by each other's emotions. When we're around happy people, we start to feel happier ourselves, and we also begin to reflect their happiness. Although everyone knows this, it's still surprising how emotionally open we are. For example, scientific studies show that three strangers sitting together without speaking start to feel similar emotions within two minutes just by looking at each other.²

In groups where people know each other and can talk, this effect is even stronger. In a study of 70 workgroups, it was found that groups working side by side began to develop similar moods within two hours. In summary, we greatly influence each other when we're together. In groups with a good work climate, this interaction positively affects everyone's performance. Video conferencing systems cannot fully facilitate this interaction.

So, does coming to the office make us happy? I think that's the main question here. Istanbul has ceased to be a livable place. It's hard to talk about the happiness of someone who changes three or four vehicles to get from Sancaktepe to Esenyurt. Regardless of traffic, we also need to consider that some office environments can be so cramped, enclosed, and stuffy that they can be suffocating.

Working from home vs. working from the office is a difficult issue. Istanbul adds another dimension to this debate. What is inevitable is being able to access our data and systems from anywhere! And that's where "Cloud Services" come into play.

We also welcome you to portvMind...
Gökhan Erzurumluoğlu

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