We can recall a lot of events in human history that were making changes in the workplace. Transition from manual work toward automation of technology was revolutionary. However, digitalization made the world spin 1000 times faster and simply jump-started the progress. So how has the workplace changed in the past twenty years? And how has Covid-19 impacted the future of our work?
Technologies have changed our working environment drastically and led to the point where we do not necessarily need to be present at workplace. But what is more important technology enabled both companies and employees to be much more productive. Today we can share the information via Slack and Google Docs and find contractors on Fiverr within an hour and even optimize employees` presence at office. Our technologies become smarter and smarter and accessible to almost everyone. We are able to solve multiple tasks via computers and mobile phones and be always online, which really makes any service available 24/7.
In our globalized world we have almost forget about borders due to modern transport means. Nevertheless, making changes in the workplace the world web and tech innovations gave us a chance to work on any company in any city/country/continent remotely without even leaving the house. That is extremely beneficial for both company and employee: while the first can reduce costs and still hire the best candidate, the second does not need to experience unnecessary stress because of moving or/and work commuting. This questioned has risen especially sharp during global pandemic when leaving the house equals health threat. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 76% of workers worldwide would prefer to telecommute even after the global pandemic. Employees of any industry appreciate flex-time and risk-free remote work and stay loyal to their company.
Among other workplace changes nowadays, thanks to technology progress and cultural shifts, it is possible to reach out anyone, what has made our communication less formal. Variable messengers, Chatbots and self-learning AI assistants help businesses as well as clients a lot. However, we, as living creatures, still need face-to-face interactions at workplace not just via electronic technology devices to build strong relationship and to save the virtual and real-world balance.
Our priorities in work have also changed. New generation of employees work at companies to fulfill their dreams and aspirations, not only for salary. Thanks to the increased variety of professions at job market we are able to choose any company and any work and apply our specific skills to it. These workplace changes also mean that people need to constantly improve their knowledges and grow as professionals to succeed in demanding working field.
The social side of changes in workplace was also altered throughout the years. The power of work hierarchy is reduced in companies. We do not see such a gap in authority between employees of different departments and between company executives and workforce (well, at least they do not seem so invincible anymore).
Working policy also could not stay the same in each company. Inclusiveness, flexibility, and equality are indispensable at changing workplaces today; though we still need a lot of steps to be done toward the unbiased and non-discriminatory working conditions. Companies today tolerate employees` appearances, believes and other peculiarities at workplace leaving their workers space to be whomever they want so they can focus on work efficiency.
In the last 20 years there were a lot of changes in workplace. Today we see developed technologies, high importance of career advancement, changes in working relationship and policies. We can only assume how the workplace will look like in the future, though we hope world will be a better place.
COVID-19 has greatly affected not only our health care but also other aspects of our life. It’s hard to maintain what we had before, but for now, we can only try to adapt to the new situation and change our lifestyle.
After our concern about health, what suffers the most is work. Many people had lost their jobs after enclosure due to the pandemic, but not all branches of the work are in danger. In some countries, people got help during the lockdown in the form of money, but that was just not enough to compensate for their payment.
Should we worry about the future of office space in the COVID-19 pandemic period? Not really! While many companies have closed their offices, putting their employees on full remote mode, most have made a smarter decision. They switched to a hybrid management model, saving spaces while reducing costs.
At that time, on-site work has undergone a number of changes. Advances in technology have helped us do our jobs faster and more efficiently at any location. Employees are now using programs that will calculate when and where other colleagues work, which is great for maintaining a working schedule and a healthy environment.
Space utilization is your building’s occupancy divided by its capacity. This gives you a percentage of how much of the space in your office that you’re using versus how much is sitting idle. You should know how to optimize your workspace and how to use office space effectively. With the development of technology and artificial intelligence, you can use special tools that will automatically allocate remote and on-site employees and schedule their work. Office space needs to be used wisely.
With the transition to hybrid office management, companies look for how to optimize office space and, as a result, office maintenance costs. Research by Gensler shows that only 12% of employees want to return to offices on a permanent basis, while 88% want to freely choose their workplace and schedule. This approach allows you to assign one workplace to several people and alternate their working days between office / home / coworking / coffee shop. Thus, a business can cut from a few jobs in an office to entire floors in the case of hundreds and thousands of employees.
COVID-19 encouraged employees to follow the trends in the office space and make their own safe “corner” in the office. Nowadays, for those who prefer to work on-site, the most important thing is safety. Cleaning your workspace on a regular basis will lower the chance of getting any disease. Air-conditioner is one big NO! It makes viruses and bacteria spread easier. Instead of turning on the air-conditioner open your window. In some companies, you can see machines that are spraying sanitizers at people. Stay safe and always bring your hand sanitizer with you. Distance between worktables, regular ventilation, cleaning several times a day — all these factors will inspire to work with less stress in the case of COVID-19 pandemic.
If you share the office with colleagues, you need to have in mind that some people don’t like to talk during their work. Your office may have thin walls, so pay attention to people in the hall, or other workspaces. The best thing is when you work in a healthy and positive environment, with people who know how to make a good atmosphere. That’s why you can’t expect only others to do so, you need to do it as well. Respect other’s privacy and keep the distance. This way you will protect yourself and other employees.
COVID-19 has substantially changed our perception of the need to work from the office. A recent survey of more than 300 company owners, managing directors, and CEO made by the Institute of Directors in Ireland tried to examine that assumption. The survey managed to discover a surprising fact that almost 100% of the company owners believe their employees need to work from the office and are looking to implement a hybrid office environment, where employees are both working remotely, and from an optimized office space.
Overall, about 31 percent of surveyed companies said that they are going to cut down workspace expenses. Adding the fact that about 37 percent of surveyed workers have expressed their desire to work from home full-time even after the restriction expires, companies are looking for modern tools that help to significantly reduce these expenses and efficiently implement a hybrid working environment.
Employees that use to work from home are efficiently using remote working as it helps to reduce, and even eliminate, wide-ranging expenses. This approach has made many fans among the office workers and changed their opinions towards hybrid and remote working. Many companies are even willing to keep their employees working from home even after the pandemic as they see a substantial rise in productivity that affects their bottom-line revenues.
Hybrid working shows extreme efficiency in finding a work-life balance for employees. Moreover, it positively affects the energy level, health, mental state, and productivity of employees, thus benefiting both the employee and the business.
As for recruitment, a recent survey has shown some unpreparedness for the changes made by COVID-19. About 35 percent of C-level respondents have told that they made significant adjustments in the hiring process of their companies, about 25 percent have made pauses in the recruitment process and only 15 percent of respondents are continually hiring new employees. These rapid changes are also affecting the needed office spaces for the companies’ changing requirements, and the need for a platform to not only optimize the space usage but also help to leverage the hybrid office opportunity to transform companies to support their future of work.
We’re in the midst of a unique moment in the history of work. None of us planned on being here, but the COVID-19 outbreak changed the way companies all over the world are managing their workforce in a flash of a second.
Many people think the world will never be the same again, but a lot are waiting for their old lives back and for the moment they come back to the office. We at stayhome.ai think the future is in the Hybrid Office — where some employees work on-premise, while others work from home. The potential is huge: lower costs on office space, more flexibility for all, increased productivity and more.
This model is backed up by data from big research companies. Mckinsey for example, studied the case way back in 2013 in their work with Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. The company then tried a hybrid — remote approach, but it wasn’t matured yet, and neither was the technology.
They came back to this research now in the post-pandemic world and their conclusion is absolute: companies cannot sustain a remote-only work model, because nothing can replace entirely face to face interactions because so much of communication is nonverbal — and that does not come easily out of zoom.
There is no need to introduce Gartner, the research giant introduced the hybrid-remote model and continues to expand and explore it. In a massive survey with thousands of employees from all over the world they found clear trends that hybrid-remote models are expanding quickly.
A staggering percent of employees said they expect to work somewhat remotely during their work week — more than 78% of workers will demand it in every job hunt in the future. Gartner also shows a major growth in the percentage of employees working remotely pre and post pandemic. Today, 48% of workers work somewhat or fully remotely in comparison to only 30% before the pandemic hit, and they project it’s just the beginning.
Deloitte has some very important ideas on the future of work. They’ve made a thorough research on life after the virus. They’re calling remote work “the new norm” and urge companies to adapt fast.
Organizations must prepare for digital transformation. They have to make internal measures like flexible workforce, and adding digital capabilities, but also they must take some external measures like investing in technology and ensuring continuous communications with clients.
First Analysis, however think expect the world of work to reach a long lasting routine only when immunity to COVID-19 will be established and widespread. But nonetheless, employers are adjusting workspaces and schedules to allow workers to socially distance at first, but to ensure employee productivity. The researchers say that market leaders are putting the tone, and when Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon have made definitive statements about long term changes – smaller fish will follow.
Last but not least, lets take a look at Buffer’s state of remote work 2020, which gives us a clear picture on the expansion and advancement of remote work. This years numbers are unequivocal. When asked “Would you like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of your career?” 98% out of 15,000 respondents answered– Yes.
The pandemic boosted remote work from a nice perk or niche to the widespread norm. But working fully remote isn’t going to last in the long term. Companies who won’t adapt will just stay behind.