With 2020 drawing to a close, I have been reflecting on lessons learned from COVID-19 and what lies ahead for the future of the workplace. The pandemic has been a catalyst for change in the workplace, forcing employers to embrace it and change the way they operate. And when we look at the future of the workplace one thing is clear, there is no turning back.
Although the last few years saw a rising demand for flexible working, with employees demanding a more agile work structure outside of the traditional 9-5, Monday to Friday norm, the majority of well-established organisations still favoured presenteeism over remote working. The pandemic has literally turned the view of the workplace on its head.
“…COVID-19 has…also highlighted that office life is an integral part of our society and necessary to establish a resilient company culture.“
“With fewer people showing up for work in person at once, employers will be creating new schedules that allow employees to work in shifts and come to the office at different times.”
The best of both worlds
It’s evident that individuals want greater freedom over when, where or how to perform their particular roles. This means having the choice of working from home or in the office, splitting their working hours into shorter shifts to take care of their family or personal needs, and feeling reassured they have their employer’s trust.
According to a recent research carried out by Culture Shift, the most important factor for employee happiness is having trust from their employer.
Employers, on the other hand, have become more aware of the need to meet this demand for future stability and growth. They’re putting in place new operating models that enable them to be more agile and rethinking how they use and procure the office space.
With fewer people showing up for work in person at once, employers will be creating new schedules that allow employees to work in shifts and come to the office at different times. This will lead to opt for smaller size offices to save costs with more hot desking and better meeting facilities.
They also realize that by offering flexible working patterns, they may be able to widen the pool of talent, especially for hard-to-fill roles, and build more specialist teams, which will benefit business growth in the long term. Thus, they will be investing in new digital technologies to improve video meetings and the whole remote working employee experience.
Location, location, relocation?
A recent report by The Instant Group shows that many employers are planning to relocate to suburban locations which offer better rates and the added benefits of being outside the city centre, such as outdoor facilities and stress-free commute.
Equally, both employers and employees agree that office life plays a key role in not just the growth of a business but also the wellbeing of individuals. Although COVID-19 has challenged and changed the traditional way of working, it has also highlighted that office life is an integral part of our society and necessary to establish a resilient company culture.
At Bloxham Mill, adopting a flexible working model is a critical component in enabling us to retain our clients and manage our growth. It is through continuous adaptability to the demands of modern living that we can support businesses and individuals alike. We want to provide businesses with a relaxing, comfortable space that promotes team building and maximises efficiency, supported by a strong and innovative digital infrastructure.
A flexible workplace solution
At Bloxham Mill Business Centre our aim is to become a hub for business and creativity, fostering collaboration and entrepreneurship, which is why we are investing significantly to future-proof our offering. We are re-modelling to build a place where people can share ideas and make connections while enjoying the many benefits of our unique rural location.
We strive for delivering a new working experience, accounting for the new demands, with more flexibility and more dynamic spaces for easier team interaction. We want to offer a workspace that enables recognition, community and connections and assists our clients in creating a culture of trust and inclusion across their workforce.
In the meantime, Bloxham Mill remains committed to being a safe place for companies that are looking to be part of a forward-thinking business community, championing collaboration and flexibility. We are based just 15 minutes from Banbury and can accommodate from 1 to 30 people, making it easy to grow, downsize or restructure without all the administration or commitment. If you are looking for office space, feel free to connect, call 01295 722800 or email me personally at [email protected].
About the author: Emma McGregor is the Commercial Director at Bloxham Mill Business Centre and the Host of Chipping Norton Buzz, a monthly networking group that meets every second Tuesday of the month.