Will Ongoing Workplace Transformations Stick?
Discussions around the role of the office in the workplace have gone from complete necessity, to massive uncertainty fueled by an unprecedented pandemic.
Changes to the workplace vary across the world — while 84% of French office workers are back at their desks, less than 40% of British workers are.
Major technology companies like Twitter have revealed that its workers will be able to work remotely indefinitely, while Netflix founder Reed Hastings has called remote working “a pure negative.”
One thing that is clear is the technological transformation the pandemic has forced businesses to undergo. Now, technology-fueled companies could inevitably become more flexible and agile. However, this shift can be risky to company culture.
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Prior to the pandemic, flexible offices took up just under 5% of the global market as companies were hesitant to adopt any type of flexible work options. Now that a huge portion of the world’s workforce has worked remotely at least some of the time, economies have proven that they can continue operating virtually.
For instance, civil courts are being run virtually, while banks have identified ways to confirm the identity of customers without them entering a branch.
So how many of these changes can we expect to stick around even after a vaccine is available to the general public? One of the most common predictions is the idea of an “optional office” that falls in line with a hybrid work arrangement. This allows employees to choose to come into the workplace for a few days out of the work week.
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