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Our chief executive Jitesh Patel recently spoke to Living 360 about the rising cost of living in the UK, how the office adds value to employees' lives during more challenging times and how employers can support their people by ensuring their work environment is people-centric and fit-for-purpose.
Q: Do you think the country is going to see changes in working patterns? What are your predictions for this winter?
JP: With rising energy costs, I believe that we’ll see an increasing number of workers going into the office this winter, in order to help alleviate the extra costs being faced at home. Offices that haven’t yet returned to full capacity, will start to see more people return, and as with any change, it’s vital that employees are supported through what could be a difficult period.
Q: How can workplaces adapt to accommodate these changing working patterns?
JP: It’s important that as numbers increase in offices, workplaces are properly equipped to suit diverse working styles. Over the past few years, we’ve become accustomed to having more control over our personal space and working patterns, so it’s crucial that offices offer variety to allow individuals to retain this sense of autonomy, and to make sure employees continue to enjoy and benefit from coming into the office.
Q: How can employers support employees with working patterns (hybrid, flexi or office-based) during the cost of living crisis?
JP: Now is also a good time to review company policies, to look at how you can support your employees on a more personal level, such as offering flexible working. This can range from changing working hours to allow people avoid peak commuting times, to offering a mixture of quiet spaces for concentration and more social collaborative areas that provide employees with choice within the workplace.