Adapting To The New Office
Hybrid Working; Part 1
Just before Christmas I reflected on what a strange year 2020 was. In so many ways we were thrown in at the deep end when it came to remote working, with mixed results. Some industries were better placed to adapt, many had to contend with getting their workers connected and able to continue through lengthy lockdowns and restrictions.
2021 finds us still in a state of uncertainty. The future of the traditional office is therefore under existential threat. While the emergence of vaccines gives a sense of some normality being restored the need for remote working is only reinforced. The move to more of a hybrid part home / part office model is inevitable.
For those companies and industry types (consulting for example) with an inherent flexible working structure, this is less of an issue and one that can be adapted to readily. Some organizations found they were able to cope without expensive city offices, and even gained productivity in some areas without commute-weary staff having to expend energy travelling each day. Inevitably though some areas that traditionally demanded office based activity were impacted, contact servicing as a primary example for many.
While some staff would have thrived in a home working environment, many have not and there is concern that the mental toll of isolated workers is yet to be fully appreciated. Family and home life, house or apartment size and connectivity all play a part in how remote working is experienced, but as with anything else, each person is different in how they need to interact with others on a daily basis. The sense of isolation and potential for cabin fever is significant.