5 Future of Workplace Trends Post Covid-19

The pandemic has ushered in a workplace metamorphosis with new ways of working set to become the new normal. Businesses have been forced to adapt and adopt safer, more flexible and imaginative workspaces.

In the post-pandemic ecosystem, many businesses are expected to transition to hybrid working. 2020 has been a catalyst for a rapid, workplace transformation that is set to endure in the long term. The crisis accelerated existing workforce trends, bringing them into the here and now.

The workplace is braced for a period of disruptive change, with automation, digitization, and remote working in mass deployment. A survey by McKinsey indicates that 35% of businesses have already further digitized their supply chains, whilst a significant 85%have accelerated technology implementation for remote working.

It is expected that workplace practices are to change foundationally for the long-term. Covid-19 might subside, but its impact is here to stay.

The five Covid-induced office trends that are here to stay:
 
Hybrid working means new tech

As more and more businesses seek to implement hybrid working, new technologies are being implemented at rapid speed. Working away from the desk all, or some, of the time, requires that extra bit of organisation. To facilitate a smooth transition, desk booking systems are now invaluable tools.

Desk booking takes the guesswork out of workplace planning. Employees can book desk space before physically visiting the office. Employers can track utilization rates and optimize on cost reductions by “right-sizing” the office space accordingly, waving goodbye to under-utilized, dead, wasted spaces.

Workplace technologies aren’t just a symptom of the pandemic anymore, but the future of the office.

Expect office redesigns

These new hybridized working practices mean offices are due a design overhaul. Some offices will need to be redesigned to facilitate more collaborative areas, such as meeting rooms, more open spaces, and fewer desks. This is a real step forward. Most offices fail to match design with organisational functionality.

In the post-pandemic office, workspace design will serve specific non-remote touchpoints only. With people working from home, there’s no need to waste large portions of space on collaboration rooms or individual cubicles. And as people get used to online collaboration, the online-offline divide will close.

Right-sizing office footprints with real-time data

The future has landed on workplaces right now. Many business owners are taking this opportunity to “right-size” office spaces using metrics and real-time data. In other words, they are tracking employee utilization rates to understand how much space is used and how much is going to waste.

Using data to redesign the office reduces outgoings and increases the functionality of office space going forward. Desk booking systems allow employers to monitor when employees are using desks in real-time. With this accurate picture of office utilization, they can make strategic real-estate cuts.

Covid has, therefore, encouraged companies to consider much-needed, drastic redesigns. This is an opportunity to tailor the workspaces towards effective collaboration and flexible working models. As a result of that, more offices are also expected to set up satellite offices close to suburban areas.

Cleanliness is a clear winner

Covid has made everybody that little bit cleaner. And it’s probably for the best. Company cleanliness is here to stay, and automation is making cleaning run like an oiled machine. Technology is now helping facilitate safe, in-person, office visits by optimizing environmental controls and cleaning rotas.

What to expect? • Office facilities that are more spaced out and new team working practices • Keyless and touchless door entry • Touchscreen booking systems replaced by online desk booking systems • Sensors that detect when a surface has been used and call for cleaning • Self-cleaning surfaces • Stricter protocols for workplace facilities and ventilation systems

Freelancers and contractors will get their moment

With remote work fast becoming the norm, companies are employing more freelance contractors for jobs and projects. According to McKinsey 70% of executives expect to use more temporary workers within two years. This has the potential to lower costs and boost economic resilience.

Only time will tell

The future of the office is due major change. Everything from working hours and location, to design and collaborative practice, is being rewired. But this is also an opportunity for improvement, as new technologies offer greater flexibility to employers and employees alike.