In 2021, we’re facing a brave new era that may see the old ways of working ushered out.
Traditional office formats are vanishing in favour of remote setups, and though some businesses still value the concept of a physical premises, others are simply rejecting the office altogether.
And who can blame them? Over the past year, many businesses have survived and even thrived with entire workforces operating from home, with huge benefits for both companies and staff that are still paying off.
This article examines just three crucial reasons why the future of the office as we once knew it hangs in the balance.
1. The results are proven
After years of companies resisting the work-from-home model, the last year has proven that telecommuters can be just as productive as office-based workers, if not more so.
Cutting out the typical distractions of the office environment has allowed many employees to get their heads down, with some achieving as much as five days’ worth of work in just three days each week.
This vast increase in productivity is potentially paradigm-shifting for workplaces of the future, as it could influences not only where we work, but when we work, too. And with growing arguments for a four-day working week, perhaps this is simply the first step.
2. The technology is on our side
In the 21st century, connectivity is at an all-time high.
So the timing has never been better for remote teams to interact, innovate and collaborate together.
And it isn’t just our working lives which could be changed by a remote world – with online degrees advancing in accessibility and sophistication, workers now have the option to upskill digitally too thanks to institutions such as ARU Distance Learning, a leading provider of remote education. You may, for instance, have experienced a Zoom training session by now, but did you know that you can also take a Master of Business Administration qualification entirely online too?
With so many opportunities to work and study online, the office may not be the only concept nearing obsoletion, but the beginning of a new digitised era.
3. Companies – and staff – are saving
Since employees have switched to working from home, many businesses have seen huge saving when it comes to the everyday costs of running the office such as rent, utilities and cleaning. Meanwhile, business expenses, employee trips and funding for social occasions such as Christmas parties have also vanished from the account books, cutting costs for companies in unexpected ways over the course of the pandemic.
In addition to this, many remote workers have claimed almost two weeks of their lives back this year in commute time. This seemingly minor difference to our working week has meant a major change when it comes to work-life balance, with many workers reporting an increase in family time and better sleep schedules.
Could these three factors be instrumental in shaping the remote offices of the future? Or will they be short-lived changes, fast forgotten?
Has your company made the switch to remote since the pandemic? Tell us how your workplace has changed in the comments below.