What is the future of the office? The future of the workplace? Is flexible or remote working the future or do we need offices?
Whether it’s zoom fatigue, trying to make the best of a home set-up, avoiding burnout or any other working from home hiccups, there’s no doubt about it. Our GIANTs have had to deal with their fair share of adapting to the working from home lifestyle, just like so many others around the world.
When you look at working from home statistics for the UK, in April 2020, 46.6% of people in employment did some work at home. But, of those who did some work from home, 86.0% did so as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Now, under half of everyone in employment across the UK doesn’t sound like quite as much as you might have pictured in your head. After all, it did feel like everyone, if they hadn’t been furloughed, was working from home.
Well to put it into perspective, while there are industries like retail, healthcare and manufacturing where it’s not possible to work from home, the employment figures for the UK in 2018 averaged at 31.2 million people. Even if you take into account the loss of 649,000 jobs from UK payrolls as well as around 9 million who were furloughed, that’s still a minimum of 10 million people who are working from home.
The Shift in Office Culture
Even though the government has lifted some restrictions that impact employees being able to travel and visit the physical office workspace, it’s clear that the office environment may never quite be the same. Many companies are looking into permanent remote working solutions as the pandemic has proved that this is a viable option, not to mention the financial implications of no longer having to pay for a physical workspace.
Facebook, Twitter, and Shopify are all big companies that are opting to go for remote working which isn’t all that surprising, particularly as these companies specialise in digital which makes the transition much easier for them. For companies in other industries or even digital companies that prefer a physical workspace, the opportunity for flexible working is also being considered.
Our office, our space, our home: GIANT Towers
If you’ve ever come across some of our other blogs or had a look at our social media, pre-COVID of course, you’ll be able to notice a common theme. And that theme is that we love our office!
From the purple walls and the bar area, to our beloved ball pit, it’s home to many a GIANT. Put it simply, our office is fun – and it’s a big part of our culture! There’s plenty to see and do while being able to find a quiet space to get your head down and crack out some great work. It’s where we’ve had a few beers after work, celebrated work anniversaries, hosted our monthly company catch-ups and ultimately, where our work relationships and friendships with clients, partners and giants alike have flourished.
So while some companies are opting for remote working, we’re looking into flexible working instead. We’re ensuring that our GIANTs are able to effectively work from home should they want or need to, while still having the option to safely come and enjoy the office as well as the company of other GIANTs. We’ve even had some of our GIANTs in the office recently which was definitely a sight for sore eyes!
What our GIANTs think
We asked our GIANTs what they thought the future of workspaces will be like and here’s what they had to say:
“Going forward, the new workplace will be much more focused on hygiene – no more forgotten food in the fridge! On a more serious note, consistent cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are touched frequently like desks and chairs is something that’s already happening but this likely continue.
Network Rail invested in making every door contactless before all their staff came back, so I imagine contactless movement is something that will be implemented more.”
– Mersudin Forbes, Client Services Director.
“I believe workspaces like offices are going to have to adopt more of a home feeling to work in the new world. Offices have always tried mimicking comfortable spaces, but it’s time to add more elements of home comfort and ownership.
Your teams need to be able to walk around and own the space they’re in on an individual level, not stuck on a corner of a bank of desks like it always has been. The future of workspaces post-lockdown, if businesses take into mind how working styles have changed, should result in nicer office design, more freedom for staff and a stronger sense of community within their spaces.”
– Danny Windsor, Head of Brand and Marketing.
“Seems like a bit of a distant memory, but remember the old saying that went around the office during cold season? You know, ‘If you feel ill, please stay at home’. Most people took that with a pinch of salt and would fight through it because it was ‘just a cold’.
That’s definitely something that will be taken much more seriously, from a general perspective, but it might also lead to stricter sick policies. Plus being treated like patient zero by your co-workers if you cough or sneeze near them might also be a deterrent.”
– Sam Caesar, Search Account Manager.
“I think there will be less sharing in the office, so if your workplace has a painkiller, cold tablets and vitamin basket, chances are that won’t be a thing anymore. Bringing in your own cutlery could also be encouraged too.”
– Kayleigh Shephard, Senior Search Account Executive.
The future role of the office is probably the most asked question facing businesses today. It was already on the tables pre-Covid when we were all looking into evolving business offerings, but now it’s more important than ever.
And alongside all these decisions comes the actual reality of this way of working; are the systems and policies in place? Do you have the technology to do this? Is it financially viable? Is it culturally viable?
Covid-19 has seen many take a hit, but it’s also accelerated many digital trends that had already needed to be integrated into businesses. So I guess we can be grateful for that!
“The future of the office will be a great one, one that will see more hubs for collaboration, innovation, efficiency and culture than ever before – because lord knows we all need it!”
– Amber Vellacott, Content Marketing Lead.
So what do you think the future of office life will be like? What are you, or your business, implementing to adapt to the new way of working? Let us know!
Want to know more about making your office a little more green when you return or whether remote working is all it’s cracked up to be? Check out our blogs on ‘Going green: 5 ways to make your office more environmentally-friendly’ and ‘Remote & Home Working: Blessing or a curse’!
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