The office landscape has changed considerably over the past year; gone are the mornings of jumping in the car or on the train to begin the daily commute. If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t necessarily need to be based in the office to be able to do our jobs effectively; we’ve all had to quickly reimagine our ideas of a thriving workspace, and for many people, working remotely cuts out the inefficiencies of many aspects of office life. But is this the future? Could we really be spending the rest of our careers carrying out meetings on Zoom and giving presentations on Teams?
One of the hurdles encountered by businesses is that some workers are unable to work from home. Even with office-supplied equipment, home-life may not be conducive to work; perhaps there are young children at home, or no space to set up a desk; whatever the challenge, it may be an impossible situation for the worker. In this case, it could be argued that an office environment would make for a more productive workspace.
We all know that workplaces as we knew them probably won’t be the same post-COVID19; perhaps training will be carried out online, or only half the employees in the office at any one time. There are many unknowns, but one thing is sure; businesses need to be working out a strategy that will work for companies, clients and employees alike, safely and efficiently, while considering maintaining (or increasing) productivity. Now is the time for companies to study which remote elements are working for the business and its employees while considering those that didn’t, and how they can be improved.
There are many benefits to remote working, but it doesn’t suit everyone, nor does it suit every job. Both office-based work and home-based work come with their own challenges, and the hope is that when we are able to return to the workplace, a combination of the two is implemented; a blended workplace could well be the answer.