New Ways of Working
With many restrictions lifting in most parts of the UK, it feels as though we're set to experience something close to normality soon. But as companies re-join the world of work post-pandemic, there are differing ideas of what the new workplace will look like.
The pandemic has forced us to embrace change, with new technology and remote working now commonplace.
37% of the UK workforce worked from home at some point in 2020, and it seems that this trend is unlikely to end anytime soon (ONS).
So how will companies adapt in the coming years? Let's explore.
The Full Remote Method
Hanging out with the dog. Working in our trackies. A 30-second commute from the office to the sofa. The past year or so has demonstrated that there are many advantages to working remotely.
For some companies, the advantages justify a total and permanent transition to remote working.
Remote Working Advantages
While remote working was born out of necessity, it also offsets a lot of the inconveniences associated with having to go into the workplace.
Having a remote workforce allows businesses access to a much larger talent pool. Logistical concerns like relocation need no longer be an issue.
Remote working could also make for a more accessible workplace. People who have a disability that restricts their ability to travel to the office can continue to contribute their expertise while working at home.
Remote working means no need for an office, meaning no rent or commercial mortgage payments to make.
It can cost upwards of £4000 per year to accommodate employees, and often significantly more.
No commute and more time at home can be a blessing for employees experiencing stress or burnout.
They can keep working and contributing from a space where they feel most comfortable.
Some feel most productive in this environment, with more than half of the remote workforce reporting greater productivity. (Deloitte)
Remote Working Disadvantages
Despite its advantages, there are still some notable drawbacks to a fully remote workplace.
While some workers argue that remote working makes for a better work-life balance, a HowNow study of 3,000 UK-based remote workers showed that more than 67% of workers felt disconnected from their colleagues under a fully remote model. (BBC Worklife)
Some new workers even report having never met any of their colleagues face-to-face.
Lack of Routine
With the TV, internet and social media all posing major distractions, it can be hard for some workers to stay focused and stick to a consistent routine.
For some, working in the same place as they live means they find it hard to create a distinction between their work life and home life. This can mean employees work late into the night or constantly respond to emails after hours, which can harm their wellbeing.
Remote Working - General Sentiment
Despite the negatives, the approach is relatively popular.
Studies have shown that small companies are twice as likely to hire full-time remote workers, with 16% of companies exclusively hiring remote workers (Smallbizgenius). For many professionals, the home office will be much more than just a stopgap over the coming years.
The Full-Time Office Method
Some employers seem to be aching to return to life as it was before the pandemic, adopting the traditional full-time 'in office' approach.
Office Working Advantages
There are some advantages to in-office work for employees and employers alike.
For many who have struggled with feelings of isolation and loneliness during the pandemic, full-time office work will be a welcome change.
A full-time return to the office could help companies to keep tabs on their team's performance and productivity.
Justifying Commercial Property Spend
For companies with a large property portfolio, empty office spaces mean a major waste of resources. Bringing employees back to the office could help to reduce this waste.
Exclusive in-office working could benefit new recruits and graduates, who have likely never encountered the world of work. This could improve their training and allow them to integrate with the company better than remote working circumstances could allow.
Office Working Disadvantages
Although many can’t wait to get back to the everyday office camaraderie, this enthusiasm isn’t shared by everyone.
Workers seem to have adapted very well to remote work, and many are daunted by a potential return to the office. A Study by Future Forum showed that only 12% of workers want to return to full-time office work (BBC Worklife).
Lack of Flexibility
While it’s understandable that some employers are yearning for a time before Covid-19, they need to ensure they don’t fall behind.
Many employers will be seeking out companies who can provide them with flexible working options, including full or part-time remote working options.
Office Working - General Sentiment
Only 7 of the UK’s 50 biggest employers are opting to bring staff back to the office full-time (BBC). The pandemic has demonstrated that many workers don't need to work in the office full-time to deliver results for their companies.
As companies move away from traditional ways of working, they’re increasingly making use of co-working spaces to ensure they have workspaces as and when they’re needed, bridging the gap between remote and in-office working.
Spaces like Aberdeen's Waterloo Quay provide hot desks, meeting and conference facilities and even an on-site coffee shop, making for a unique and collaborative workspace away from the office.
From small plucky businesses to giants like Microsoft, IBM and Adidas, more and more companies are taking out leases in co-working space to tie in with their flexible working practices (Desana).
A study by Coworker found that a whopping 37% of SMEs (small-to-medium-enterprises) are already using spaces just like Waterloo Quay, showing that co-working spaces are set to play a key role in the new world of work. (CI)
The Hybrid Method
Remote working isn’t going away any time soon, with 74% of professionals expecting at least some degree of remote work to become standard practice for the foreseeable future (Forbes).
Many companies are keen to combine remote work with in-person work, through the hybrid method, allowing workers to work remotely or in person, depending on their needs.
This approach seems to be an effective one, as early studies have shown that 63% of high-growth companies use hybrid work models.
The hybrid approach is popular with workers too. An ONS study from June 2021 showed that 85% of those working from home preferred a hybrid approach.
This is likely to be the most common approach going forward, with big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon leading the way (Forbes).
What is Moment Doing?
Moment is adopting a hybrid model.
We’ve listened to our team members and believe this is the best approach for all of us.
Our first trial "hub" in Aberdeen is now available for team members in the North East, meaning that our team and especially our new recruits and graduates won’t miss out on the workplace experience.
Team members can also work fully remotely, allowing us to accommodate our brilliant remote team across the UK and Ireland.
We believe this approach gives our team members flexibility which can only increase wellbeing and productivity.
Adam Bell, Delivery Director at Moment explains the decision: “This new way of working provides a balance. We're a team of individuals, and no one approach will suit everyone. Embracing a hybrid model lets us accommodate everyone's needs.
"We're not concerned about a drop in performance from this method. In fact, it's the opposite. By empowering our team to work how they like, we're seeing wellbeing improve and productivity increasing. Ultimately, what works for our team members is what works for the company.”
Whether companies choose to use the in-person, fully remote or hybrid method, it’s clear the world of work will be very different post-pandemic.
What is your company doing, and what's the reason behind it? Share your ideas with us on LinkedIn.
Interested in working for Moment? Keep an eye out on our recruitment page for our latest opportunities.