A year on and many of us who can work from home are continuing to do so.With the further easing of lock-down measures companies up and down the country and indeed the world are planning and preparing for their post pandemic working futures.
"Firms are likely to adopt a mix of remote and in-person work – the future is looking hybrid"
Experiences of working from home over this last year have varied wildly, from some relishing not having any distractions an office environment can bring, utilizing what would have been commuting time in alternative and effective ways, to others craving the opportunity to just turn around and ask a colleague a quick work question or having that lunch time chat in the office kitchen with another team member.Its these experiences and many more that will be considered and feature in what happens next.
Technology has been our saviour and our sinker.With the surge of Zoom and MS Teams as a way of meeting and ‘connecting’ it has no doubt influenced and changed some work processes and practices for good.It does not however replace being physically located to others, allowing for the opportunity to learn about personalities and styles of working or the sharing of knowledge in fluid way.
The thought of returning to physical work offices is exciting and desperately needed for some whereas for others its anxiety inducing and uneasy. In these early stages of easing restrictions many firms are offering a return on a voluntary basis with numbers of staff in the office being limited to a certain percentage.As we look further ahead certain occupations and a widespread demand for flexibility firms are likely to adopt a mix of remote and in-person work – the future is looking hybrid.
With many surveys, recent articles written, and research carried out a common thread is that knowledge sharing, spontaneous learning and creativity in firms truly comes from having in person and human to human contact. It is for these reasons we are seeing firms encouraging and bringing employees back to offices.
The hybrid model, three days in the office and two days from home for example, allows in-person company/ team collaboration, mentoring, coaching, problem solving, and relationship building being combined with independence and flexibility while still maintaining a level of structure.
As we slowly come out of this, time will tell what our post pandemic working future and offices truly look like, however one thing that feels certain is that it will be a changed one!