I read an article a few weeks ago written by Steve Endacott at Rebound Consulting where he spoke about how Covid will continue to change the role of the office. We at Gail Kenny Executive Recruitment had, to an extent, already adopted the way of working Steve talks about.
Our team work from home, but meet once a week in a location chosen by a different team member each time. We have met in coffee shops, serviced offices, private members clubs, hotels and even the National Opera House. All offer free WiFi and have a great social setting. Although this is a "work day" when the team catches up on active jobs and candidates, but is also when we socialise and quite often finish with a glass or two of wine afterwards. Travelling out of rush hour is encouraged on this day too.
But I agree with Steve having a results-orientated approach. It's not about 9-5. It's about output and productivity. By offering this flexibility to the team drives loyalty and commitment.
Obviously this is more challenging for larger companies with big teams. But hot desking and providing the flexibility for employees to work from home a couple of days a week is definitely the way forward. More difficult for Gen Z as many live with parents or in flat shares where working from home isn't always the best environment.
There isn't a one for all solution, but flexibility is key.
Most employers I talk to recognise that moving forward they will need much less office space as staff have shown they can work effectively from home. The general view is that staff will work two to three days a week in the office and the rest from home. So, what will the role of the office be in the future? I think it will be a much more social space, used for brainstorming and team meetings, rather than sitting at workstations in front of computers. Staff can do that element of their work from home. This will require a re-think of office spaces with comfy sofas and coffee facilities replacing banks of desks.