Our lives have changed fundamentally almost overnight. We have made radical adjustments to the way we live, work, and play. But will office life be the same after the dust settles? Will things ever go back to the way they once were, or will we see a new normal?
Egans have relocated thousands of staff home to work across Australia but what now?
How we work might change as follows:
- More staff working from home or away from the office
Even after COVID-19, many organisations will continue to keep a percentage of their workforce working remotely. Remote work was already an upwards trend before the pandemic. This may just be a catalyst for what some businesses planned to work towards overtime anyways.
- A restructure of current office spaces
With less staff coming back to the office and workplace hygiene being at the forefront of our minds, businesses will want to adapt office space accordingly. Workstations will be reconfigured, and hot-desking may lose popularity. We could see a resurgence in the old fashioned ‘my desk is my desk’ scenario.
- Workstation screens may become a popular choice once more
The ‘open office’ movement had much criticism with claims of a decrease in workplace productivity and communication (see The Truth About Open Offices – Harvard Business Review). This pandemic could just be the nail in the coffin for the ‘open office’ trend. A return to the full height screens of the 80’s and 90’s is unlikely, but workstations with half and quarter height screens could rise in popularity once more.
- Downsizing or resizing
Even with support from government and banks, many organisations, unfortunately, have no choice but to reduce their staff, streamline their business activity and cut costs. These changes will prompt businesses to relocate to smaller premises or restructure their existing premise. Whilst downsizing and resizing, redundant furniture and office assets will need to be circled through the economy sustainably to meet the changing needs of businesses.
So, what will the office look like after Corona? We can’t know for certain what the future holds but going back to business as usual pre-COVID-19 seems very unlikely. As a business community, we will learn, we will evolve and we will survive.