What’s Next for the traditional office workplace?
It is nearly a year since we were first put into lockdown and the end is still a few months away. But how will we all be working once we are free of any restrictions?
Companies who used to always feel it was necessary to have everyone in the office have realised this is not the case. Productivity is still good even with people working from home.
Will the office become redundant?
Some people like to go to the office and meet with colleagues and differentiate between the two (work and home). The commute can be a time of mentally preparing for work on the way in and then winding down, before arriving home. But some like the idea of a balance between the two.
It is possible that many companies will look to reduce the size of their offices, set up hot desks, and use the extra space this creates for meetings rather than day-to-day work. This hot desking will give the balance between allowing people to work face to face for team meetings and working from home.
We are already seeing office and retail space being repurposed into residential use, as more companies opt for remote working.
The High Street may well become a mix of residential, hospitality and retail. Some of the larger empty shops may become pop up offices and meeting areas, rentable at hourly rates. Having these pop up offices located within a town centre could help revitalise the town and allow people to meet, shop and socialise all in the same area.
There is one area, in my opinion where face-to-face is essential, and that is finding new business and networking. For many industries seeing a person and getting a feel for them and their company can only be done in person.
The future: A mixture?
We have all discovered that for many businesses the technology exists for effective remote working. The increased uptake of Office 365, Teams, ZOOM, SharePoint and the acceptance that people can be trusted to work from home has changed everything forever.
In the end, we will all strive for the balance that works best for our companies. But things will never be the same again and everyone is going to have to discover their new way of working.
As a Director of Optima Systems Ltd Jay is responsible for overseeing Sales and Marketing, Human Resources, Customer Relations and Account Management. In addition, Jay is responsible for the design, development, efficiency and smooth running of the IT Networks of our clients, as well as our own technical infrastructure. More about Jay.