The Future Of The Office And Changing Work For The Better

Can we ever go back to the way things were? That’s the question Manon DeFelice asks in a recent Article that explores the return to the office. The article provides some interesting insights. For instance, about 62% of Americans say they have worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent Gallup Poll. A majority (59%) of those individuals say that remote work would be welcome post-pandemic. One of the concerns often stated about remote work is the impact on productivity. Well, Ms. DeFelice shares results from a YouGov Survey that found 54% of professionals ages 18-74 felt that working from home has had a positive impact on their productivity.

The reasons for that bump in productivity per the survey were: saving time from commuting (71%), less distractions from co-workers (61%), and fewer meetings (39%). Leaders are seeing it as well. Twitter is making the shift to remote work and others are following suit. An implication I have written about in the past, is the expansion of the human cloud when location is no longer a factor. The article supports this using the experiences of Crunchbase CEO, Jager McConnell. McConnell states that recruiters have had no problem hiring people remotely, and it is clear that the workplace will not look the same post-pandemic. McConnell believes that when their office opens again, only 15% of their 150+ employees will return to the office.

As I have presented before, this work from anywhere phenomenon has a broad ripple effect. McConnell expects to reduce office space and sublease it. Work Ripples Across DomainsThat move combines with other costs savings driven by remote work to ultimately save the company money. Ms. DeFelice concludes that in the future, one thing is certain: The office will never be exactly the same. As we have seen across a broad spectrum, the COVID-19 pandemic upends traditional thinking. Working remotely was viewed as radical, and now everyone is doing it. However, let us not underestimate the human need to be with people. We are social beings and we cannot discount our need for face-to-face interaction. Each time we experience change of this magnitude, we have both positive and negative outcomes.

In a recent Forbes Article, David Morel focuses on some of the positives. He describes several ways that COVID-19 will change work for the better. Remote work has delivered increased flexibility for employees. As a key stakeholder in the company’s ecosystem, this contributes to overall ecosystem flexibility. Outside the box thinking during the pandemic has driven an increase in both agility and innovation. In some cases, innovation horizons collapsed from years to months. Businesses are now better prepared for these extreme events. This new-found resilience will serve them well, as these events are likely the new normal. Organizations have shown a level of compassion during the pandemic that is likely to dovetail nicely with a renewed focus on purpose. Lastly, well-being and mental health have come front and center. This focus on our well-being at the end of the day is where our efforts should always be focused as a society; through crisis we find hope.

Explore more about COVID-19 via these earlier posts.

FEATUREDA Post Pandemic Society






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