HOW COVID-19 HAS DRIVEN NEW WORKPLACE MODELS
COVID has fast forwarded the concepts of remote working, working from home, or a hybrid model with a mix of both. In the current climate, it has become clear that working in an office 5 days a week may be a thing of the past.
Between the higher risk environments and lack of flexibility, companies and their staff are seeing the advantage in moving from traditional work models to newer workplace models.
There are advantages and disadvantages to a total remote working approach, versus a mix of remote and office working time.
One of the main attractions of remote working is the ability to maintain a work-life balance. For years, we became accustomed to the rush hour traffic, lunches at the desk and demanding workloads. Employers had a reticence to move from the traditional nine to five, five day week work model.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a change in approach and this has shown some interesting data. The rise in remote working has not decreased employees’ productivity, as companies feared it would. There is evidence to show that it has actually increased productivity and that it has also helped to improve employees health and wellbeing.
Here we explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of working in an office fulltime, versus remote-office working or a hybrid model:
Reduced commute time:
The reduction on our daily commute has meant that on average, we gain an extra hour a day. This has resulted in an overall improvement in task management. Time that was once spent sitting patiently (or impatiently) in traffic, is now spent working to deadlines, making the school run on time or catching up on some well-earned sleep. Saving money on fuel consumption and wear and tear on our cars is also beneficial!
Self-Care and wellbeing:
One of the major benefits of saying goodbye to the office-centric lifestyle is the extra time taken to make more nutritious meals at home and eat at a more relaxed pace. Promoting self-care by maintaining a healthier lifestyle has a positive effect on a workforce. Staff wellbeing is fundamental in encouraging an innovative approach to problem-solving and positive work relationships.
For many of us, leaving the office means our working day ends there. When your job is done solely at home, it can be difficult to switch off. Responding to emails or answering calls late into the evening can become a regular habit when you no longer have the typical 9-5 routine of an office. Spending a few days in a formal setting using the hybrid model can help to establish that work-life boundary.
Social interaction & team dynamics:
A hybrid model sees employees working remotely 1-3 days and in the office for the remainder of the week. Working from home can sometimes mean an inability to build genuine team dynamics and forge work friendships. It is also challenging for companies to ensure that their particular company culture permeates throughout the organisation in a remote work situation. In particular when new employees are introduced into the system. A mix of remote and office working can support social and work place interaction.
Miscommunication and connection delays when interacting virtually have become apparent in recent times with video communication in high demand. Some meetings cannot happen virtually and must happen face to face. Negotiations are easier when you are in the room with the other person. There is no doubt that important meetings and larger projects are completed more smoothly when colleagues are in the same environment, proving the hybrid system is most effective in that situation.
Introducing new staff and training:
Introducing new staff members to fellow workers is important in any company. A hybrid model gives a new employee an opportunity to meet, and get to know all team members. On the job training still plays an important role in the learning experience for new staff or those changing role in a company. The hybrid model facilitates that as it allows that time to learn.
Without doubt, over time and we move back to a more normal environment, every company will have found a model that works best for them.
At Acorn Business centre we can provide spaces to suit you as your business model changes. Our flexible work space has both office and meeting room space as you need it, enabling your staff to work and collaborate in a shared environment.
We also provide a virtual office service, giving companies a professional business address and contact number while working anywhere.
Interested? Contact us for more detail on our offerings:
Phone: 021 453 6199