The workplace has changed, and the change may be here to stay.
There is no doubt that 2020 will be remembered as the driving force behind an unprecedented shift in the way people and organisations approach their work environments. Whilst many suggest this is only an acceleration of a trend already underway it cannot be overlooked that Covid-19 has driven almost all office-based staff to a home working scenario of some sort, including many companies that might not have previously seen this as their way forward.
In a recent study by The British Council for Offices1 of 2000 workers, only 30% said they were considering a return to the office five days a week with 15% saying they wished to work from home exclusively.
“The idea that people will return to the five-day week in the office has gone, and I think a much more blended approach is likely, two or three days in the office and two-three at home or wherever is going to be a much more typical pattern. Most people will value being able to work on that basis.”
Richard Kauntze, BCO chief executive
Obviously, the final decision is out of the hands of many of these respondents but another recent and possibly more important survey by the Institute of Directors2 reached a similar conclusion with over 75% anticipating a move to more home working after the pandemic and over 50% predicating a reduction in their office space.
“Remote working has been one of the most tangible impacts of coronavirus on the economy. For many, it could be here to stay”
Roger Barker, Director of Policy at the IoD
So, what will this new Hybrid Working Environment look like?
Many agree this new hybrid world needs to be a smoother more streamlined experience. This is understandable given the crash course in remote working most people and businesses have just undergone. Digital tools and connectivity need to function together to let those in the office space and those out of it interact and collaborate quickly and easily. Connectivity problems also need resolving both at local and national levels.
Another issue many face is that their homes, no matter how much they like working in them, were not designed to be an office space. Noise and poor video can be a major problem where inadequate or basic AV equipment is being used together with a less than business friendly ambiance. A recent study by AV Conferencing provider EPOS3 calculated that nearly 30 minutes a week is wasted by a typical user due to poor sound quality alone on their video calls. This is not just exhausting but has an impact on productivity and performance.
But with the right investment in technology the hybrid working model has massive potential. Reduced office and staff costs, higher sustainability targets reached and a better work family balance are all achievable. The office of tomorrow can be one big collaboration centre with hot desking, digitally connected lounge areas and coffee bars. Where remote connections can be established seamlessly and effortlessly no matter where the participants are at that moment. Where production thrives on site and remotely… This may seem a long way off at the moment but actually much of the technology to achieve this is already out there. It just needs a little investment and some coordination to make it happen. From noise cancelling business grade headsets to cloud based interactive business tools, technology has the solution to make this not only work, but to open up a new world of possibilities.
To find out how your business can benefit from a hybrid future contact AV Connections.