It can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For many of us, there has been so much change during the COVID19 pandemic, and the future is certainly unclear. Many businesses went through quick shifts to remote work at the beginning of March, which led to a huge change in workplace communication, technology, and physical office space. While some offices have begun the process of hybrid work (meaning, some people are in a physical office and some work remotely) many companies are still operating completely remote. There will be a time where it is safe for everyone to return to the office, but what will that really look like?
Here are our predictions for what post pandemic workspaces will look like:
Remote work has been the most talked about change for workspaces during and post-pandemic and with good reason. Many employees are finding the lack of commute times and more flexibility to be preferable. This is especially true for parents and employees with disabilities. Businesses have also found a wider and more diverse pool of talent when location is no longer an issue.
Will remote-only or hybrid organizations succeed after the pandemic? Only if they are well managed. Business owners have addressed concerns with productivity, company culture, and employee isolation with remote work. These are all valid points that continue to be solved before an organization can thrive in a remote-only field.
Workspaces need to be re-defined to be well-functioning as remote. With everyone not under the same roof, solutions that prioritize collaboration, accountability, and inclusion need to be set.
Luckily, everyone is in the same boat and innovations to solve these problems have been exploding during the pandemic, many of which rely on digitization. Collaboration tools, digital workspaces, and project management tools are just a few of the new technologies that are helping to redefine the workspace as it stands in 2020 and the future.
LAck of Physical OFfice spaces
Rent is the second highest business expense beyond employee compensation. What company wouldn’t want to get rid of these expensive costs? As the amount of employees working from the office has declined since March, big businesses have looked into walking away from their physical offices that weren’t being used. Many companies have paid to get out of their leases. We predict that many businesses will choose to be remote-only, renting space for group and in-person meetings. A great model for WeWork, The Yard, and other co-working spaces would be to rent out their spaces for an all-hands meeting or other sessions where collaboration is needed. This will help other businesses keep their monthly costs low and pay for physical space only when needed.
INcreased Digital Infrastructure
IT has been a huge stakeholder for many businesses prior to the pandemic, but once remote work and distributed workspaces were needed by many companies all at once, it became a scramble to keep up with what was needed to continue to do business. Cloud-based infrastructure and digitization is now a necessity as the standard office network solutions no longer cover all that is needed for remote-working from both a productivity and security standpoint
Network infrastructure isn’t the only thing that needs to be addressed, but investments for software and tools that redefine this new workspace must also be taken into account. Microsoft Teams, Outlook Suite, and video conferencing and other solutions have been implemented into organizations to recreate company culture, collaboration, and productivity. We run a comparison of these solutions here.
What trends and predictions do you foresee for the end of 2020? Let us know in the comments below.