Amidst this spread of covid-19 throughout the world, we find that our way of life has changed. As the doors to the office started closing, many organizations were forced to transition into primarily remote operations. We all brought home laptops, downloaded collaboration apps, dusted off headsets, tried to keep the pets quiet, and started the journey to master home office life.
The work from the home experiment has quickly evolved into a necessity. What once may have been a challenge both organizationally and technologically has become industry standard prompting a huge turning point for remote collaboration.
We have found a new normal. We are quarantined but are still logged on, signed in, on camera, and unmuted. Some are doing this for the first time, some for a short time, others just in a new way. But with so many now joining the movement, it’s the perfect time to embrace tools that can accelerate our productivity in a time of uncertainty.
The covid-19 crisis will be a defined mark in history and an inflexion point in our world’s technological evolution. The need for flexible job location will not disappear when offices reopen their doors. Employees and organizations will desire to incorporate these changes into their work-life going forward. Even after we head back to the office, people will expect to join the meeting in seconds and have video available for both remote and in-person attendees. Non-video-equipped meetings with complicated connectivity options will be obsolete and not tolerated by modern professionals.
Furthermore, the normalization of remote work will prompt facility managers to rethink how they leverage their spaces. Will they need as many rooms as? Which rooms used more than others? Are there ways to ensure employees are working in safe and healthy environments? While also lowering facility operating costs.
Work From Home is going to have an enormous impact far beyond just empty desks in a building. Nail salons, barbers, shoe repair, dog groomers, optometrists, bars, the list is long of those who depend on an ordinary crowd, and they all stand to suffer if their customers don’t commute. Are there any upsides? Well, a post-pandemic office might give each person a lot more room.
So when this is all over, will we ever come back to an office again? My prediction is for those who can work from Home, which is roughly 40% of people. I don’t think many people are going to do that full-time. I think the much more common thing would be something like two or three days a week at Home, a hybrid one. And because you can come in and work in the office only two or three days a week, it’s much easier for people to live, say two hours out of the city because they’re only commuting twice a week. If you don’t have a commute every day moving 20 or 30 minutes out, you can get some ample space, more land, more air, better schools, any number of things that might be a priority for you at the same or less cost.
Working from Home now is a chance to stay safe while we wait for mass vaccination. But city life may never be the same again.