Thousands of employees in Canada are working from home waiting to return to normalcy, but what we once knew as normal might not mean going back to the office full-time. For many, commuting to work, interacting face-to-face with colleagues is not likely to be what you remembered or what you were hoping for last year. The traditional office workspace is forever changing.
The pandemic-induced experiment of working from home has altered perspectives on work, flexibility, and safety in the office. COVID is here to stay, and we can no longer see when and how much effort it will take to put things back to where all of this began.
Gone are the days of co-working spaces, cramped cubicles, shared desks, and packed meeting rooms. COVID pandemic changed the dynamics of how we used to work, and we can no longer expect to think that things will ever go back to normal as before.
Companies have significantly reduced the number of employees working from the office by creating remote work, transforming workspaces to keep social distancing maintainable, and implementing rotating schedules reducing employees’ risks.
When we think about what future workplaces will look like, we only see that companies will have to make some serious changes to how the inside workplaces will work. Companies cannot always keep this practice of keeping employees working from home; sooner or later, they need to develop plans to make workplaces adaptable to the ongoing pandemic. The adaptation will enable companies to bring back employees to offices.
In general, the workplaces individuals will be getting back to will doubtlessly incorporate actual changes to encourage social distancing practices. It may look like higher cubicle walls, plastic barriers, and a blend of physical and virtual experiences with rearranging the work environment.
When implemented strategically, the use of technologies and SOPs will help make it possible for workplaces to go back to normal. The employees will have to follow strict rules and SOPs to make the workplaces safe against COVID.
Companies will be more accepting of remote work, providing flexibility to employees to work wherever they can get their best work completed outside of an office environment. Remote work will still be popular in comparison to asking employees to attend workplaces.
We have learned from this pandemic that productivity can occur anywhere, not just from an office environment. We are going through those times when a business’s success is no longer bound to being present inside offices or workplaces. Working from the home experiment was successful, and lots of companies managed to increase their productivity with remote work.
Having the flexibility and choice to work from anywhere is on the rise. Meanwhile, there are still many things to improve in this remote working. The typical workplace will no longer be a single location but rather various places and experiences supporting functionality and convenience while supporting well-being.
Businesses will have to adapt fast to this new normal unless we somehow end this pandemic soon. While it is still unclear as to when the current crisis will eventually pass, one thing is clear our work life will never be the same, and our new normal has emerged.