There was once a time when the idea of working from home was a seemingly unachievable dream for many office workers. Many of those in leadership positions seemed convinced that productivity would drop under a remote working model. However, the 2020 pandemic has proven that, when forced to work from home, people are willing to do what it takes to be productive. With little choice in the matter, businesses are experiencing a period of great change. Here are five of the most fascinating ways the remote working model is reshaping the world:
1. A New Take on Office Spaces
The hot-desking trend that was sweeping the corporate world is likely to become a relic of the past. In its place, a new form of shared office space is emerging. Drawing from the design features of medical clinics, scientific facilities, and hospitals, the offices of the future will allow for collaborative work while maintaining strict health and hygiene standards. Everything from the layout to the materials used will change, with the idea being to facilitate coworking environments without endangering people’s health.
2. The rise of Telecommuting
Though some workplaces will take the shared office route, many will stick to a home office model, allowing employees to work from home and telecommute. This is already being facilitated by platforms like Zoom and Slack that make communication and project management achievable when team members are all working in remote locations. Over the coming years, we’re likely to see even more innovative tech developments as the demand for an improved home office experience rises.
3. Satellite offices
Somewhere in the mid-range between a central office and a home office lies the satellite office. These allow for workers to attend an office in their local area, rather than centralised business areas. Satellite offices tend to be smaller, meaning fewer people are crowding into the building at any given time. They also take the pressure of main roads at peak traffic times, making life easier for workers in more ways than one. The new satellite office trend is also characterized by staggered start times, thus allowing for a more distanced and hygienic experience.
4. A new focus on employee health
There once was a time where employees were subtly discouraged from taking sick days, and the concept of a “mental health day” was taboo. However, as the pandemic swept through the world, we were all confronted with the consequences of not prioritizing our health.
Remote working was brought in by many companies to protect employee health while still remaining operational. Within this new context, both physical and mental health have been rising in importance. Over the coming years, we will likely see more and more health and wellness programs created in offices all over the world.
Along with all these changes to the human experience, we are likely to see automation flowing into workplaces at a much more rapid rate due to the new needs produced by the pandemic. Roles like food service and general admin may be taken over by robots and AI, allowing for a more hygienic and streamlined experience for human workers.
Though the new remote working model rose out of a global catastrophe, it is already opening up a lot of promising new avenues. If the world’s workplaces continue to follow the trends detailed above, then the world as we know it will soon be reshaped into one that places a higher level of importance on the health and happiness of workers.