The Hybrid Workplace is Here to Stay: Are You Ready?

WORKPLACE

While the pandemic has accelerated the growth of remote work, it is also clear that it will strengthen trends towards agile working. Many employees want to return to the office, but they also want the flexibility to work from home at least part of the time. Large companies such as Unilever and Google have already spoken out about permanently offering employees greater flexibility. This means that post-COVID offices – without the need for social distancing – will likely shrink their physical footprint to reflect a smaller in-office workforce. However, a smaller office comes with logistical challenges. In cases where employees have autonomy over when they will work in the office rather than remotely, it may be difficult to anticipate demand for seating space.

Smart monitoring solutions

Fortunately, there are smart digital solutions that make agile concepts work as intended – with the added benefit of determining just how much space companies still need to keep. IoT-enabled offices that use sensor data to track real-time space usage can collect extensive, anonymous data about how many people use what types of spaces over prolonged periods of time. Using the post-pandemic period as a new baseline, companies can assess how much space they really need and can plan future office redesigns, lease negotiations, or new construction accordingly. Reducing the footprint in this way can lead to substantial cost savings even while maintaining or enhancing the user experience.

A wake-up call for office owners

Overall, hybrid working (in which the employee works part of the time in the office and the other part from home or some other location) is set to more than double in the years ahead. As a result, there are already signs of a slowdown in demand for office space, with many new real estate developments being put on hold or canceled outright. Landlords will need to deliver more user-centered, flexible space-as-a-service, or face irrelevancy.

Are you ready to embrace agile? Gain deeper insight into the pressing issues facing the modern workplace and the impact of technology on how we work.

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