Workplace Update – Aug 2020

  • 24 Feb 2021
  • redpath
  • 2020

Re-entry to workplace feedback

With transition back to the workplace in play for a lot of businesses, what has the uptake been and how are we really feeling about it?

Overall, the return to office working response can be described as steady. Within a single business, the behaviour has widely varied in each State with some having higher office working uptake than before Covid.

With similar techniques being adopted in terms of pre-booking desks, on-site sign in procedures and assigned working days; flexibility to book on demand seems to be the most sort after method, and those who originally assigned working weeks or days have moved away from this for the time being. This has enabled increased regularity of capacity in offices.

The ability to increase technology to streamline these processes as well as to enable quick track and trace functionality, will be highly sort after. One key example we have seen for this, is a desk swipe on system with normal building access cards. This allows visibility of desks currently in use and then better still, confirms when the desk has been cleaned so available for use by a new staff member.

What do we want next from the workplace?

With transitional office working well underway, its now time to turn to what we want and need from the workplace going forward; how space will need to be utilised, it’s capability and therefore how much will be needed.

Early feedback still indicates that employees will be seeking to work in split formation of home and office 2/3 days per week. With more than half of us missing the collaborative and social aspects that the office space provides; changes to desk working areas and current meeting room numbers, and format will be first to be reviewed. From there, further investment will be required into technology to enable seamless working from anywhere.

The question over real estate portfolio reductions will very much be a reality with most groups looking at a 25% reduction at this time. Large consideration is also being given to de-centralisation of offices and moving to more neighbourhood/localised based working.

Beyond the workplace

Further to review and changes to our physical working environment, we can expect a lot of time and investment to next be focused on organisational culture and career pathways.

Organizations have started to gather information through surveys and working groups, which will be key to understanding what changes will be needed to leadership support in order to stay relevant and productive for their teams. This will also include equipping people managers in how to manage and support teams in new ways of working.

Ultimately this work will also be crucial to feed into future requirements of our physical and virtual working space, to successfully support staff with regards to wellbeing and future career development.

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