As more companies embrace the hybrid work model it also begs the question – what strategy should companies adopt to ensure a successful office reopening?
Companies across the world are thinking about reopening their office doors and welcoming their employees back. Too many, though, are adopting a “wait and see” strategy–that is, they’re planning to unlock their doors and wait to see which–and how many–employees show up. Companies that adopt this approach are setting themselves up for irreparable damage.
As offices reopen there is an on-going debate whether people will return to the office full time or continue to work remotely. Could there be another option that people can choose where to work from?
London WeWork South Bank. Image via WeWork
As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much speculation and debate about whether we will return to our old habits of working in the office 5 days a week, or if working from home creates equal or greater productivity. However, many believe that the future of the workforce will largely be focused on a balance between in-person and in-office working, and a form of remote working, that summates into a new, hybrid model. But if you’re not at home, and you’re not working, then you must be somewhere else- exploring the true in-between of a public and a private space. Enter the concept of the “third” place, which is used to describe everything from coffee shops to banks, and even co-working spaces. If you’ve ever studied for an exam at a bookstore, or even dropped into an airport restaurant to catch up on some work, then you too, have visited a “third” place.
Technology including artificial intelligence will play an increasing role and driving transformation in the workplace especially AI will influence how we work in the future.
A wave of automation and artificial intelligence adoption by larger firms is expected start reshaping both who works in offices and what they are doing amid a widespread return to the office.
A 2020 survey by Deloitte found that 8 in 10 corporate effects had already implemented some form of robotic process automation, or RPA, a multibillion-dollar industry dedicated to automating repetitive tasks, increasing efficiency and decreasing expenses.
As offices reopen organizations are facing the challenge of managing the workplace to meet the needs of both employees and business. So how and when can companies reopen their offices in a structured and planned manner?
Having worked remotely for more than a year, many professional and administrative workers aren’t eager to return to their offices full time. Those who do come back are likely to find that office designs and routines have changed as businesses rethink the purpose and value of centralized work.
A number of the nation’s biggest firms have announced that post-pandemic they’ll combine workdays at the office and at home.
How is the office still relevant in the age of flexible work? Despite the rise in remote work, studies have shown that most workers do not want to work from home all the time. Most would still want to work from the office a few times a week. So what are the primary drivers for workers returning to the office?
Gensler’s 2020 Workplace Survey found that only 12% of workers want to work from home all the time.
Why do employees want to go back to the office? For in-person meetings, socializing, and impromptu face-to-face collaboration.
But it’s also about health, as too much time spent working from home is putting additional strain on work/life separation, leading to stress and burnout.
By now, it’s clear that the office isn’t going away. And yet, with the rise in remote work and an increasing number of companies adopting hybrid work models, it is just as clear that the role of the office has evolved and the workplace is not likely to ever operate the same as it did prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic has created a now widely adopted work-from-home culture. However as offices start opening to welcome back their employees organizations have to rethink what workers can continue to work from home and who should be back at the office.
The decision on which jobs are heading back to the office and which can stay home will vary widely depending on nature of the job and the industry. So what type of jobs in which industry will stay home or move back to the office?
America’s vaccine rollout is happening faster than expected, with the general population now eligible to get their shot this week instead of in May or June, as originally anticipated. In turn, some office workers in the United States are going back to the office sooner than we thought. When they return and how often they’re expected to be at their desks, however, could vary widely.
And as the return to the office picks up, the extent to which American office workers are allowed to continue working from home — which the vast majority of them have done during the pandemic — stands to affect everything from their satisfaction at work to where they are able to live.
The pandemic has definitely shaped the way we work in the past year. Terms like Work From Home (WFH) and Remote Work are now widely used. In response to the “new work normal” a new phrase has come up in everyone’s vocabulary, Work From Anywhere (WFA).
So what does work from anywhere mean and how will it influence the way we work? How will WFA shape the future of work?
The GWA’s annual conference covered topics ranging from the current pandemic to the impacts and opportunities for the industry with a redistributed workforce.
During the event, experts argued how the work from anywhere trend will affect enterprise portfolios and how flexspace providers can respond.
The demand for increased flexibility will require a shift in how buildings are developed and upgraded, according to the panelists.
In a panel discussion titled, “THE Defining Term of the Future: Work From Anywhere”, speakers provided their perspectives on how the work from anywhere trend will affect enterprise portfolios and how flexspace providers can respond.
As the workplace evolves with the way we work, new workplace strategy should embrace flexibility, wellness and people centric solutions to create healthy and inspiring workspaces.
How can companies incorporate wellbeing and culture into their workplace strategy successfully?
Across the globe, the events of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic brought forth an acute awareness of public health and personal wellbeing. Millions of people were forced to address wellness and work/life balance in new and unexpected ways. As a result, employers have stepped up to offer flexibility, incentives, and amenities to support a new era of work/life integration that promotes health and wellness for all.