The discussion about the current use of the office building and the way we work has been going on for a long time. With questions such as: is 40 hours of work future-proof? And, is a flex office really that healthy? A progressive example is Finland. This country is aiming for a shorter working week with 6-hour working days. There is definitely a shift going on. So, the question is, how do we work in the future?
Due to COVID-19, employees are advised to work from home as much as possible. This advice is being listened to massively. Organizations where this was not possible before, are now more or less forced to support working from home. There are examples of organizations that free up budget to create a pleasant working environment at home. With a positive effect as a result. Employees also appear to perform at home.
For organizations this is an eye-opener. Employees are rethinking the way they work. International research from University of Amsterdam (UVA) shows that 37% of the individuals who work from home since the pandemic, will choose to work from home more often after restrictions are lifted. Also, around me I see new habits arise which people want to continue.
In order to save costs, organizations have switched to open-plan offices and a clean desk policy. In practice, this does not always turn out to be the ultimate working environment. People who start later during the day to avoid traffic jams or to take their children to school, cannot find a good workplace. Overcrowded spaces and the noisiness of an open workspace create stimuli and concentration problems. Of course, flexible working also brings good things with it. It is important to further expand these benefits and to ensure that offices fits in with the future of people and organization.
How we work is changing faster than ever. COVID-19 has given people the chance to experience a different work-life balance. We discover we can work well from home, especially with the children going back to school.
We organize our day in the way we want, for example by exercising sports in the middle of the day and finishing a report in the evening. The commuting has been reduced, so you have more time for leisure activities and social contacts. The way we balance between work and private life has changed drastically. There is freedom to decide how, when and where we work, resulting in feeling motivated, loyal and happy.
With the use of smart technology and online tools, a mobile working environment is created, and the office building has a new function. The office of the future is a place to meet, collaborate with your team, share ideas with colleagues and feel connected with the organization. A need that is strongly present.
There is insight into the availability of good workplaces. People consciously choose to go to the office. When you go to the office, you know where and with whom you are going to work. This offers certainty and the opportunity to determine what is the best time for you to go to the office. Joining traffic jams is no longer necessary.
Facilitating this way of working contributes to a comfortable and sustainable working environment. It results in more efficient use of the office space and increases the well-being and productivity of employees!
When most of us worked from home during the pandemic, meetings took place via Zoom or Teams, and meeting rooms remained empty. Now that we – at least in part – return to the office, it is time to take a critical look at the use of the available space.
Much has been said and written about it: due to the corona pandemic, a large part of the worldwide working population has been working from home these past few years.
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