The pandemic saw an unprecedented rise in the numbers of people working from home but, as vaccinations alter the course of Covid-19, there remain many unanswered questions about what the future holds. While some businesses will want to bring their employees back as soon as possible, others are likely to adopt more nuanced approaches.
Businesses will downsize
One of the biggest shocks of the pandemic was that working from home, far from being a hindrance to productivity, was mostly successful across the board. This means that businesses will not necessarily scramble to bring staff back to bricks and mortar premises. The pandemic has exposed the potential of remote working, proving that some people simply do not need to be in the office.
That, in turn, will lead to downsizing. Companies pay massive amounts of rent for their office spaces; this is usually one of the biggest financial outlays that they will have. Cutting back in this area, or even going fully remote, means big savings. Some businesses will likely let go of their physical premises altogether, becoming online entities. The pandemic changed how we conceptualize a business and proved that remote work is nothing to fear.
Even those companies that do retain a bricks-and-mortar presence are likely to undertake some cost-cutting measures. At the very least, they will probably keep some of their staff at home. This means changing workplace demands, especially in terms of energy. Businesses will cut back on gas and electricity. They will use comparison services like Business Water Quotes to find more suitable and cheaper water tariffs for their diminished workforces. Cost-cutting, after all, might be the most profound effect of home working.
Hybrid models will dominate the business world
Working from home was necessarily inflexible during the pandemic. People had to stay out of the office due to lockdowns, but the idea of remote work is a lot more flexible than it seems. Lots of businesses are already trying out different hybrid models, and this experimental phase is set to continue for some time. Remote working is malleable, and there is a model to fit every company.
Some businesses prefer a clear, fifty-fifty split. This involves employees spending one week at home and another in the office. Others prefer to implement this model weekly, with staff spending a few days in the office and a few at home. Even more flexible models allow employees to work completely at home and keep the office open should they need to drop in. That might be for support or simply because they want somewhere quiet to work that is free of distractions.
There is no one size fits all approach to remote work. Businesses have learned that they can be more flexible without sacrificing productivity. Employees are unlikely to want a return to the old days of rigid timetables and daily commutes. The age of working from home has just begun, and there are probably lots of changes to come.