Reimagining the office of the future

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on all aspects of our daily lives, particularly how and where we work. Amongst other things, the pandemic has precipitated a mass acceleration towards remote working practices for many businesses; practices they may not have even considered before, yet now have had to be implemented as a necessity. Companies are investing heavily in the technologies required to make remote work not just possible, but effective. Obviously the level of investment required varies greatly depending on the context, however for the majority this expense has been significant enough to suggest that these new remote working protocols are not as much of a temporary solution than they are a permanent shift towards a new way of working. For many FM professionals and organisations out there this shift has caused some concern around the future of the workplace and in turn the Facilities Management sector. At Maxwell Stephens we are firmly of the belief that central, shared workplaces will always be required – they have just evolved a bit more rapidly than usual!

Why is the office important?

Watch and Learn…

 

Remote working removes many opportunities to observe other ways of working and reduces employee exposure to different points of view. This could be something as minor as simply overhearing conversations that could enhace your understanding, or missing out on important ideas generated through general chit-chat.

Optimal Environment

 

It is well documented that different environments have a significant impact on our mental state, and when it comes to working, our mental state has a significant impact on our productivity. The office environment is (usually) designed with productivity in mind, and this can be something that is very difficult to recreate home. Those who have tried to work with young children, TV blaring in the background, whilst hunched over the kitchen table will know exactly what we mean!

Work / Life balance

 

In a previous post we discussed how enhanced connectivity can blur the lines between home and work life, and this is certainly true for many remote workers in the current climate. For some people this is manageable, yet for many others there needs to be a clear distinction between their personal and professional lives. Studies have shown that this increased connectivity to employers is actually a source of anxiety for the majority of employees. Findings also suggest that even when employees do not actually spend time working at home, the mere idea that they need to stay connected can be detrimental.

The role of the post-pandemic corporate HQ

The prevailing message around business Headquarters’ moving forwards seems to be that they need to become more adaptable, particularly in regards to their function, location, and scale. In many sectors, particularly professional service sectors, the HQ premises and address can be seen as a badge of honour – a form of status symbol and a physical embodiment of the business and its brand. We do believe that this mentality will continue, yet it make just take a slight back seat to other  functional considerations. 

 

Some leaders have suggested that a new, more flexible approach to corporate HQ’s and offices needs to be taken. The future may indeed lie in smaller centralised premises which support more localised, regional hubs. We think this may be a fine balancing act, combining a focus on brand and

corporate reputation with enhanced remote working opportunities and capabilities. 

 

Re-imagining the workplace – Predictions for the future

Re-imagining the workplace – Challenges for the future

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