Many say Covid-19 has been one of the best rapid prototyping methods for agile and flexible working in history. As we start to consider how we will re-enter the office, businesses will have time to reflect and see if this is really the case.
As the dust starts to settle and we prepare to slowly return to the office many will be looking back at the last few months in a daze. The rapid changes to operations for many businesses has seen Covid-19 as one of the best chief technology officers and rapid prototyping methods for agile and flexible working in history. Our adaptations have busted many working from home myths, and as a result, we are seeing perceptions on the topic shift, but many are asking – will the workplace change forever? And, if so, how can we capture the lessons learnt to craft the future of the workplace design and interaction- whilst meeting business demands in an adjusted economy.
There is no one size fits all model.
There’s a plethora of “The Future of Work” themed reports in the market, many are selling the concept of a 360 reinvention of the workplace, however in reality there’s no one size fits all model to agile and flexible working arrangements. Most businesses are currently in the process of implementing a slow return to the office and during this time they will be considering the right balance of flexibility for their company moving forward.
Before Covid-19 many businesses leaders had placed flexible work as a must have to attract and retain top talent; and we anticipate that where it may have been previously unchallenged or considered, now that employees have experienced working remotely and they are supported by adequate IT infrastructure, it is highly likely that their expectation has shifted towards increased flexibility and undoubtedly ongoing remote work post Covid-19.
Move slow and expect your plans to change.
This is a perfect storm for business leaders who are already facing operational difficulties; with a near immediate push for businesses to commence a staged re-enter into the office and create a Covid -19 safe environment. Twitter recently announced that employees who were able to could continue working from home, or possibly anywhere else that makes them happy and productive, forever. The policy will not apply to employees who are responsible for in physical tasks, like office or technology server maintenance, and for this reason a flip to 100% remote working won’t work for many companies.
With no certainty regarding how long Covid-19 social distancing measures will need to be in place, businesses should utilise the interim to test options. This information should be utilised to inform their longer-term strategy on agile and remote working. Moving slowly is important, these decisions have a significant impact on corporate culture, wellness, productivity, client outcomes and ultimately business profitability.
Go wide with your data collection.
When we work with clients to provide a strategic assessment, we will always recommend a wide data collection. This ensures that all relevant factors and feedback are taken into account. Taking the next few months to engage the relevant stakeholders is critical. A few tips for you as your team works through this:
- Creating a Covid-19 safe workplace is the top priority and there are a number of physical and behavioural considerations to factor in.
- Manage expectations across the company that all team members should be flexible and prepared for more change.
- Create open, regular communications channels.
- Engage with a wide variety of stakeholders for data, such as your company’s leadership, operational staff, IT and even your clients.
Our team will be releasing further guidance material in the coming weeks, please contact our Interiors team if you would like a copy of this information or have any other questions.
Contact Conrad or Loretta.