There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we do business. From retail to hospitality to office work, everything has changed. While we slowly see the community being vaccinated and learn to live with the virus, business will never be the same. Some of the most prevalent changes are the increase in people working from home, hybrid workplaces and even office downsizing.
So, as we all adapt to how the world has changed, let’s take a look at the new working norm, and how you can make it work for you.
Driven by the need for flexibility
Most of the changes we’ve seen over the last 12-18 months have been driven by necessity. Often, this has been a legal necessity, to maintain social distancing in workplaces. In other cases, it has been to support employees who have had their children at home more often than they did before.
The business world has always been great at adopting new technology, embracing change and evolving with the times. The pandemic has been no different, and atop all of them sits the need for flexibility. Here are some of the ways offices have adapted.
A hybrid workplace is one where not all staff are present at one time. People may work from home 2-3 days a week, on alternating days. This ensures there’s a staff presence in the office, but also keeps staff people and healthy.
Downsizing office space
Rather than staying in a huge standalone office building, businesses are looking for more cost-effective alternatives. For example, moving into serviced offices where they can occupy less space, pay lower rent, and move to a hybrid workplace setup.
Working from home
Working from home has been prevalent to some extent in many businesses. However, in some rare cases, businesses have moved to complete remote working arrangements, only maintaining a smaller office space for meetings and essential work.
Flexible working arrangements
Because people are working from home, there is now more flexibility in their hours. For example, they may start later and finish later, allowing them to take the kids to school.
Tips to make the new normal work for you
Some companies have welcomed all of these changes as a breath of fresh air. Others have struggled. This is natural for any kind of major change, but these tips should help you get the most out of the new normal.
Consider multiple locations
Rather than one large head office, why not try moving into smaller offices spread out around your region. Serviced offices and co-working spaces are great to maintain a professional image while reducing your office space.
When you introduce flexible working arrangements, everybody has different preferences. You might be able to make this work by splitting shifts to reduce the number of people in the office at any given time.
Invest in technology
The right equipment makes it so much easier to adapt to the new normal. By investing in cloud-based software, you ensure your people can log on and start work no matter where they are. It may require an additional investment in new laptops and other hardware, but you can also save plenty on rent and office overheads if you have fewer people in the office at any given time.
The other issue with remote work is security. You need to implement robust practices to ensure the security of your data and systems. Most cloud-based software has pretty solid security, but you’ll also need to think about people’s wireless connections and accessibility.
However the new normal looks for you, don’t forget to always invest in your staff. Stay connected any way you can, and maintain a sense of team even if you’re working apart.