Before 2020, the effectiveness of remote work was a topic for academics and dreamers. Now it has moved into the C-suite meetings. Questions like: what will be the role of the office after covid-19? will remote working and employee autonomy hinder long term productivity? are asked frequently. Although no one can predict when things will go back to normal, we know that work-life will never be the same again. A new and more flexible way of working is lurking around the corner.
Remote working is here to stay
For decades the concept of remote work wasn’t acceptable. For many companies, the rule of thumb to measure job performance was the hours spend in the office. Remote working normalized during the last months as we had to work solely from home. Currently, most employees still work from home and expect to split their time between the workplace and home after 2020. But does remote working benefit us after all?
Rethinking work-life flexibility
Research by Adecco Group shows 70% of employees currently work on their tasks outside the 9 to 5 workday. This led to increased levels of productivity and an improved work-life balance. At the same time, employees feel that their daily tasks need to move away from how many hours they spent working to the output they deliver. Interestingly enough, this view is shared by executive management officials. As a result, focusing on deliverables and allowing employees to work whenever and however they want can positively impact job performance.
Remote working during the pandemic led to an improved sense of employee autonomy. Employees experience more control over their workplace and time. However, research shows, that only when well-established organizational goals are in place, autonomy can make employees more productive. For this reason, a clear overview of personal and organizational goals is more important than ever.
Transitioning to a new office life
The office used to be a lively place with always something happening around us. Open floorplans, fancy coffee corners, and fun ping-pong tables were some of the perks companies used to foster employee well-being. However, evolving those office perks might not be a bad idea. According to research from the Fast Company, employees value purpose, security, and job development the most. The question around the new way of working will remain the same: how can companies realize a smarter and more efficient office life?
A new smart office reality
In the post-pandemic world, offices will be less crowded, more efficient, and more collaborative. Managing when and where employees can work at the office can be easily organized with smart office technology. McKinsey claims that employees will use the new office for kicking-off projects, orientation sessions, and presentations. As a result, smart office technologies will soon transform the way we work in the office.
The need for face-to-to face interaction
Collaboration is more efficient when we do it face-to-face. Although working remotely improved our work-life balance, employees feel that relationships with their colleagues have weakened. As the bestselling author Simon Sinek stated in a recent webinar about the future of work: “We will never work completely remotely as we are social animals, and we need human interaction. We need to be in company with others, interrupt each other during meetings, and write spontaneous ideas on walls.” For that reason, collaboration should be a core element of your new office - either in-person or by optimizing your hybrid meetings.
The hybrid working paradigm
Although the discussion around the new way of working will continue, most companies seem to agree that a mix of remote and office work will most likely be the new hybrid working paradigm. A successful example of a company that adopted hybrid work practices is Twitter. The company recognized its employees’ need for flexibility while making the essential changes to welcome them back to the office.
A day in your future office
To illustrate your future smart office life, imagine that before you arrived in the office, you would have already booked your shift. You will know which of your team members will be present, in which room your creative brainstorm session will take place, all while you could easily adjust the room temperature from your smartphone.
Create a future-proof office
Are you interested in building workplaces that focus on collaboration, flexibility, and employee well-being? We’re always happy to help. Our smart office advisors are just a virtual coffee away.