When Your Desk Might Never Look The Same Again
I am sitting here in my home office, contemplating the workplace landscape post Coronavirus. For many of us our new office is normally the kitchen, a bedroom or the lounge, but every day it is now our temporary workplace and I wonder what the future will hold.
We’re three weeks into lockdown now and it seems that we’ve all completely adjusted to using Zoom and House Party. People might have heard of Skype and Teams but suddenly, they were in the ‘videocall spotlight’, wondering what the dress code was for early morning meetings with the boss!
Working and socialising remotely is the only choice for the next (let’s face it) 3 months, until life starts to get back to normal. But will ‘normal’ be the same as it was just a few weeks ago?
After a couple of bumps in the road in the first week our team are all now nicely set up at home and seem to be adjusting rather well. You can imagine that we have some pretty hefty kit for the type of creative work we do, but the guys were up for the challenge (along with their poor unsuspecting co-house occupants!) For a company that is always focussed on outcomes and has never worried too much about the ‘9 to 5’, culturally it’s been a transition that is working well. But I believe that many businesses will be finding it really difficult to adjust.
Now the I.T. is sorted out, it’s the H.R. that is certainly going to be a big challenge. Even if it has been possible in the past for businesses to transition to flexible working, so many have resisted the concept, wanting their staff ‘where we can see them’.
In my opinion, looking forward, companies that maintain business structure and discipline but show flexibility and trust, will emerge from this experience with a workforce more loyal and productive than ever. They will also find that they may need less or very different space for their employees in their corporate facilities. It seems to me that this could be a wonderful win-win, with employees feeling more empowered and productive whilst businesses save some of the enormous overheads associated with commercial premises.
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