The way we work and the idea of the office, has been changed forever by the Covid-19 pandemic.
With people the world over working from home, businesses and their employees have had to adapt to a new, possibly unfamiliar way of working, overnight.
The abundance of technology available – Wi Fi, cloud, networks, internet etc – has made this easier allowing teams to connect at the click of a button, share files, hold virtual meetings, share screens and collaborate. IT teams can continue to safely support their colleagues by accessing computers and devices remotely and fixing issues with minimal disruption.
As well as new technology, working from home also requires a culture change with an emphasis being placed on outcomes and achieving objectives rather than hours worked. Although part of a remote team, individuals need to become more independent and proactive, take responsibility and manage deadlines more effectively, become more confident and speak up during collaborative projects. With a better work life balance, employees are also happier and more energised, more productive, and more creative. Something employers will benefit from.
Did you know…
- It’s estimated that 73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028.
- 75% of current teleworkers say they plan to work remotely for the rest of their career!
- 65% of remote workers are more productive in their home office than at a traditional workplace.
- 50% of remote employees said working from home reduced their sick days and 56% said it reduced their absences.
But what happens when lockdown and social distancing are relaxed, and things start to return to ‘normal’? While some people will be happy to get out of the house and back to the office, physically re-connecting with friends and colleagues, some will be reluctant to return to old ways of working.
The future of the office
Where employers may have once argued that working from home wouldn’t suit them, their team and their business, they will find this approach difficult to justify after it has been proven to work well for several months. In fact, reports suggest that many businesses are starting to see the benefits of allowing employees to work remotely, including increased productivity, and the option to downsize the office and save money. Jes Staley, Barclays CEO has declared that big offices are now a thing of the past as he signalled a shift in the way the banking industry operates.
The future office will become a more flexible space with an even greater emphasis on technology; processes; digital transformation; cyber security; and digitally connected teams; with remote workers only checking-in in person every so often, if at all. Businesses with offices overseas are already using technology to stay digitally connected to teams in other countries.
The impact on mental health
Working from home can also have a positive effect on mental health and quality of life. A 2018 survey suggests that flexible working (remote work, flexible hours, and reduced schedules) has become so important that 97% of people say that having a more flexible job would have a “huge” or “positive” impact on their quality of life.
By offering flexible work options, companies are supporting their employees to devote more time to health and wellness, with 77% of people surveyed saying that flexible work options would help them be healthier.
Other benefits of having a flexible job include better work-life balance, removing or reducing commute stress, family and time savings. Flexible work options allow family and work responsibilities to co-exist more peacefully.
Organisations that give employees more control over their work with flexible options are supporting the health and wellbeing of their employees which in turn, improves productivity.
The impact on the environment
If more people continue to work from home, the environment will benefit too with less people commuting, less congestion, less overseas travel and less pollution.
The future of work is agile and collaborative. Businesses who invest in the right technology, systems, processes and IT support, at the same time building a collaborative, connected culture and offering flexible ways of working, can navigate the challenges of Covid-19 and beyond. With the right foundations in place, they can continue to be flexible, proactive, and adapt quickly to whatever challenges the future brings.
If you are working remotely or have remote workers in your business, our solutions can make it easier to manage devices and files securely. Speak to us about Document Management, and our fully managed IT Support services so that you can focus on your business safe in the knowledge that your documents, network and systems are taken care of. To find out more call Beverly on 01285 810606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.