The global coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on many of the habits and customs that have guided our society for as long as we can remember. And few places have been as disrupted as the workplace, with the majority of the American workforce being confined to their homes.
Some have simply been laid off, with the hopeful promise of a job waiting for them once things return to normal. Still more, however, were instructed to attempt to maintain business as usual — to the best of their abilities, anyway.
We’ve read about the trend of flexible working for years, with many employees reporting that they wished there was more flexibility in the work schedules, with the option to work remotely or when they feel they are most efficient. So it’s interesting to see that it has largely taken a global pandemic to force the hand of managers, allowing their employees the freedom and flexibility to work from home and at a pace that works best for them.
But are these changes likely to stick around even after we’re no longer confined to our homes? Industry experts agree that even once we return to the office, there will likely be a number of changes in work patterns. With governments and companies around the world looking to ease the lockdowns currently in place, minimizing the potential for virus transmission is at the top of their list of priorities.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at # ways that the office sector and workplace design could change.
Experts predict that some of the workforce will continue to work from home, if possible, but that many others will also return to office life. Workplaces will have to adapt, changing workspaces, and how employees interact with one another. Expect to see existing office spaces transformed to accommodate the notorious six-foot distance rule, allowing employees to work while maintaining proper social distance.
Co-working, where different companies share buildings, office space, or even workstations, has been a huge trend in recent years, quickly becoming a cult favorite among start-ups and other small businesses. But with the virus spreading like wildfire, we may see this trend cooling down. Think about it: will companies really want to put their entire team in such a small space, where they are so closely mingling with other businesses’ employees?
Companies may also want to invest in a new suite of contactless technology tools to help reduce the potential spread and transmission of viruses. Using this type of technology, employees will be able to get most of their work done while rarely needing to actually touch the physical building with their hands. Think office doors that automatically open using motion sensors and facial recognition technology, or being able to summon the elevator or order a cup of coffee with your smartphone.
If you’re in the market for new technology, consider the RealNex suite of tools — the only platform you will utilize all day long. With the RealNex CORE CRM, you have access to all of your information on your desktop, in the cloud, and in the palm of your hand, making it easier than ever for your team to adapt and work efficiently. Schedule a demo or contact us to get started today.