Why its not a WFH revolution

23 June 2020. Features.

Article by Jitesh Patel, CEO of Peldon Rose

There’s no doubt that we’ve all been thrown into a global ‘WFH bubble’. And in general - we’ve coped quite well. This is a real testament to the tenacity and dedication of the workforce. Teams have remained motivated and have continued to provide clients with a high level of service during this global crisis.

In the midst of the upheaval, we’ve also seen a lot of talk about how effective working from home has been, and how this may be a revolution – with the office being ousted once and for all. However, I believe the physical workplace will always be needed, and won’t be replaced completely by a working from home culture. After all, the workplace helps to bring people together, which is key to a positive culture, and it’s where support networks and lifelong friendships are formed. It’s impossible to replicate this emotional and creative hub virtually. An office encourages informal communication systems, which reduce silos between teams and increase collaboration. The reality is that the office is where ideas are created and business gets done.

Adapting to social distancing at work

All of that being said, some workplaces may find it tricky to reconfigure their offices to incorporate these new social distancing guidelines. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to implement the new measures without losing the identity of your office space. It’s all about being creative and thinking outside of the box when it comes to adapting to this new way of working.

One of the big worries around physical distancing is the negative impact on mental health, but there are ways to prevent the associated feelings of isolation. As long as you ensure all ideas follow the correct safety procedures, you can still create an enjoyable workspace. For example, socially distanced lunches, Perspex screens in collaborative areas and socially distanced 1-2-1s and inductions are all ways you can still bring your people together and provide a fun and enjoyable place to work. 1-2-1s and brainstorms in parks and outdoor spaces can also inject a bit more energy into the work day, and you may even find that your staff are happier, more productive and enthused about their projects.

Embracing new, flexible ways of working

Smart working, agile working and other flexible approaches will be the new normal, but they won’t replace the office completely. Instead we will start to look at the work day as a ‘where we/I work from’ approach.

This means that where we work from on a particular day will become a more conscious decision. For example, if you’re all pulling together as a team ahead of a pitch or meeting, you could choose to work in a collaborative environment – like the office. However, if you’re looking at complicated data or reporting, you may choose to be in a quiet, isolated space – like your own home, or a separate individual work pod or library-style quiet space. We’ve had to embrace a more fluid attitude to work over the last few months, which has led many businesses to take on board these new approaches and integrate aspects of them into their new ways of working.

With a renewed focus on health and safety and user wellbeing in the workplace, we’re expecting that businesses will also want more control over the space they occupy. This could mean businesses having dedicated entrances and we may even see a shift out of co-working and other shared serviced office options.

All in all, the physical workplace will not disappear completely, many people will just change the way they use their space. If anything, this is an exciting time for offices as many will be looking at how they can create collaborative, uplifting and practical spaces that really shout about their individual brand and values.

For more information about how Peldon Rose can create a flexible workspace for you, please contact us.

Share this article