The most recent edition of Print.IT Reseller talks about the office of the future. EBM Managing Director, Mark Bailey was joins his contemporaries and shares his thoughts on the post-pandemic workplace.
According to the 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey, 45 per cent of executives do not expect to see a return to a ‘normal’ course of business until next year, compared to 31 per cent who anticipate this will happen later this year. The changes prompted by the pandemic have resulted in one quarter of CEOs saying that their business model has been changed forever by the global pandemic.
Post-COVID, only three in 10 of CEOs surveyed for the KPMG report are considering a hybrid model of working for their staff, where most employees work remotely two to three days a week. And according to Microsoft’s recent Work Trend Index survey, employees want the best of both worlds. Over 70 percent of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, while over 65 percent are craving more in-person time with their teams.
This month’s panel shares their thoughts on whether last year’s sudden shift to home working has created lasting changes to the work of work and what the new reality will look like for both their own and their customers’ business.
“Both with our clients and at EBM, we’ve seen that most people prefer to work in the office. There are significant mental health benefits to differentiating between the office, the classroom an the kitchen table. However, now that working from home has been shown as a viable option, the majority of SMEs we encounter are being much more flexible with their working arrangements and leaving it to their employees to decide the best working patterns for them. I think that this approach will continue for a while, but that most staff will opt to come back to the office.
That’s SMEs though, I think with corporates we may well see something different. When you have large overheads there is a significant cost benefit to keeping your staff at home. HSBC has already announced a 40 per cent reduction in office space and I think more will follow, especially now the infrastructure has already been established.
All of this, however, will depend on individual leaders and management style. How close do management need their teams to be? Will they be comfortable allowing staff the freedom to manage their own workload when they don’t have to? That will depend very much on each individual organisation. On the whole, I think that the vast majority of people will return full time to the office eventually. However, the flexibility to work from home will forever be an option.”
See the full article in the most recent edition of Print.IT Reseller Magazine.