We are entering a new era of work. The recent switch to remote working has forced us to reinvent the way we work when face-to-face meetings are no longer possible. According to ITProPortal, 1.7 million people in the UK worked from home before Covid, but due to lockdown restrictions, an estimated 20 million people have had to relocate to home offices.
Organisations are now thinking about how to move forward, and looking at both flexible work arrangements as well as ensuring a safe return to the office. Despite the challenges, we now have the unique opportunity to fundamentally improve the way people work, wherever they are.
So, what is the workplace of the future going to look like? How will employee experience change? What will success look like for those embarking on the journey of transforming the workplace?
As with most things in life, there is no one size that fits all. Different work environments have different needs. Manufacturers, retail shops and schools each have their own ways of communicating, dealing with customers, and generating business value. They each face different pressures today and they're each going to react differently to changes in the future.
What ties them all together is an increasing reliance on digital technology to keep employees safe and maintain productivity.
The pros and cons of remote working
According to a recent survey from BCG, 86% of UK employees working remotely have experienced a positive impact on their work. Among the top 5 positive impacts, 59% said they enjoy having reduced commute time. This was followed by more flexibility on working hours (45%), feeling safe due to social distancing / hygiene protocols (39%), increased control and autonomy (19%), and decreased distractions (18%).
But real challenges still need to be addressed. The same survey reports that 79% of UK employees experienced at least one negative impact on their work. 30% said they experienced blurred boundaries between work and home life while 29% felt more distracted at home. 22% also suffered from inadequate work space at home, anxiety and depression or feelings of loneliness.
Overall, 75% of employees have been able to maintain or improve productivity on their individual tasks vs. 55% on collaborative tasks.
Ensuring connectivity to your mobile workforce
Remote staff often work from different places and heavily rely on mobile devices and laptops. By making mobility a key part of your workflow strategy, you enable efficiency and offer more flexibility.
With BOS, our mobile-as-a-service solution, you can equip your employees with the latest devices in no time, while benefitting from end-to-end services. Deploying mobile technology with a subscription-based model will help you make savings and keep your employees engaged, connected and secure through Covid and beyond.
Creating smart workplaces
Providing remote workers with the right technology and ensuring a safe return to the office is critical to business continuity. Companies that will survive are those that think strategically and have a long-term vision for the future of work. With Econocom, you can easily reorganise your office on a regular basis and implement intelligent workplace solutions, all through a simple subscription plan.
From mobile devices to office fitout, we help you accelerate your digital transformation to preserve staff safety and enhance productivity. This ensures that as your business evolves, your workspace does as well.
What the future holds
Remote work software, like mobile work tools and virtual reality conferencing, should become the preferred form of communication – even over face-to-face meetings. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also likely to play a major role in managing remote staff.
These advancements might put companies more at ease. The transition to managing a remote workforce might be daunting, but with the right tech and our support, it can be a seamless process.
The BCG survey reports that 67% of UK employees who worked remotely since Covid believe a hybrid model of remote and in-workplace work is ideal for them and their colleagues. This kind of model allows for the benefits of working from home plus the human connection, in-person relationship building, and increased visibility enjoyed in the workplace.
Instead of resisting the change, companies should improve their remote work policies and capabilities by going digital. If you’re looking for ways to engage and protect employees while preserving your cashflow, our Econocom team will be happy to help you.