The level of upheaval in the way we work during the Covid-19 pandemic has been well documented. The way we work has undergone the greatest change since the widespread introduction of the computer. And all this change has provided us with a completely new perspective on the way we work.
Homeworking may have initially been seen as a short-term solution to the first Covid-19 lockdown, but as time has gone on it has morphed beyond a novelty and into an expectation of every employer. Employees and employers alike have been challenged to find new working practices, confront established status quos, and foster new technology in a way that none of us could have imagined not so long ago.
2 short years ago, flexible work was a much-talked-about but little-implemented niche concept. In June 2019 5.1% of the UK workforce worked mainly from home, while 18% had the option to work flexibly in some way- either in terms of hours or location. During the lockdown, the number of those working flexibly rose to 78%. It is estimated that around 37% of workers will work flexibly by June 2022- still more than double the number that did 4 years previously.
Remote working was an unexpected success, to say the least. So much so that it has now become an expectation for many. On the other hand, there are significant drawbacks to remote working- isolation, lack of collaboration and gradual diminishing of social capital being 3 of the most widely recognised. The balance of benefits and drawbacks has given rise to the hybrid model – distributed teams working in the locations and at times that enable them to get their best work done.
But what does all this mean? Perhaps the greatest change is how we look at work. It’s no longer a place to go. It’s a thing you do. The focus has changed from location to output. As long as results are being achieved there is a lot more flexibility in where, and how, those results are achieved.
The traditional workspace, with a choice of a desk or a boardroom, is ill-suited to the flexibility and serendipitous communication that your people need. Dynamic teams need dynamic environments that they can reconfigure to suit their requirements at any time. The modern office needs to be designed to adapt and evolve. Rather than having dedicated spaces for teams and tasks, it’s quickly becoming a more open, welcoming environment with collaborative areas for teams to communicate and share ideas. It’s an office design that adapts to the needs of staff, rather than forcing them to conform to it.
Faced with the complexity of the digital age, your people need the facilities to do what they need, where they need, seamlessly. By integrating innovative technology, such as ZenConnect pods, into your office design you give your teams the power and flexibility to communicate and collaborate seamlessly with anyone in the world from a dedicated professional space. Providing this level of flexibility allows your team the space they need, both physically and mentally, to super-charge productivity and create amazing results for your business.
Following the rapid shift to remote working, workers have also been given the opportunity to address their wellbeing and work/life balance more than ever before. Organisations have been forced to adapt to these new changes in more ways than one. A more flexible approach to office-based work has largely been implemented with a firm focus on employee job satisfaction and wellbeing.
Work has transitioned from being a location to an activity – an activity that can be carried out both in the office, at home, or somewhere completely different. This means the workspace needs to adapt to its new role. No longer is it a place where all your people come every day to work on everything they are doing. They can subordinate their location to their task, choosing a location based on what they are doing.
This means that the future workspace needs to become a destination for a world of hybrid working and virtual communication. An agile workspace with less desking and more focus on tech-enabled spaces for collaboration, teamwork, meetings, training, and events. Open and transparent communication, a high-trust environment and a culture of empathy are critical factors in a successful hybrid working culture.
Whether it means reducing your real estate, office relocation, office refurbishment or moving to a hub-and-spoke model, we can help you define and deliver high-performance workspaces for your future. Get in touch today to define what the future of the way your company works looks like.