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  • Michael Robinson

The Case for Structural Engineers Working In the Office Environment

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of work has made a significant transformation. Hybrid work arrangements, where employees split their time between working from the office and elsewhere, have become the new norm for many industries. While hybrid work has its merits, there are certain professions where being in the office full-time is essential. In Subteno’s opinion, structural engineering is one such field where the benefits of working in the office far outweigh the advantages of a hybrid work model.

In this blog post, we'll discuss the reasons why structural engineers are best when working in the traditional office environment.


Collaborative Environment: Structural engineering is often a team-oriented profession. Engineers work closely with architects, drafters, and other professionals to design and develop complex structures. Being physically present in the office fosters spontaneous collaboration, enabling team members to brainstorm, share ideas, and troubleshoot issues more effectively.


Efficient Communication: In the office, communication is more immediate and personal. Engineers can discuss ideas face-to-face, eliminating any delays and misunderstandings that can arise from email or virtual meetings. Quick access to mentors and senior engineers for guidance is invaluable for young engineers learning the ropes.


Mentorship and Learning: For young engineers and recent graduates, the office setting offers a wealth of learning opportunities. Senior engineers can provide mentorship, guidance, and hands-on training that is invaluable for skill development and career growth. This is often overlooked in the hybrid working model.


Focus and Concentration: While hybrid work may offer flexibility, it can also present numerous distractions at home, making it challenging to maintain the high level of concentration required for detailed engineering work. The office environment, on the other hand, is designed to optimise productivity and minimise disruptions to project delivery.


Career Advancement: In many engineering firms, visibility is key to career advancement. Being in the office allows engineers to build relationships, demonstrate their expertise, and contribute to their organisation's success, all of which can lead to professional growth and recognition.


Company Culture: Lastly, a strong ‘family’ culture is fostered through in-person interactions and shared experiences. Being in the office allows engineers to connect with their colleagues and develop a sense of belonging within the organisation.


In conclusion, while hybrid work arrangements have proven beneficial in many industries, structural engineering is an area where we at Subteno fully believe that full-time in-office work is not just advantageous, but necessary. The collaborative and specialised nature of this profession demands the advantages that can only be found in a traditional office setting. By working together in the same physical space, structural engineers can ensure the safety and integrity of the structures that underpin our modern world.


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