The McKinsey Institute’s ‘The Future of Remote Work’ report (3) offers a wealth of insight on the topic. Variable domestic broadband is a real crunch issue, with the report citing a researcher at Stanford University who found that only 65% of Americans surveyed said their internet was good enough for video calls (4). The McKinsey team also points to the risk of home-working “accentuating inequalities” and creating mental stress.
These concerns must be addressed, but McKinsey is in no doubt that “some forms of re-mote work are likely to persist long after Covid-19 is conquered.” In particular, the potential for a more productive workforce cannot be ignored. More days working from home means “less time wasted commuting”, while the percentage of employees feeling they were more productive working domestically rose from 41% to 45% in April/May 2020 alone.
Employers who do not own their premises will also want to enjoy the cost savings that can be made by using less office space. But the premises they do keep will need to be made suitable for flexible working, including easy – and safe – hotdesking.
There are also plenty of questions to be asked about building technologies. For example, do they allow the building to operate well without wasting energy in unoccupied areas? Does the building management system allow technical teams to have a complete overview of how the office space is functioning? And do they support further changes to the use of the office in the future, no matter what they might be?
In the second part of this blog, we’ll address some of the key issues for employers who are now taking steps to make their offices ready for hybrid working.