A report by the Centre for Cities think tank suggests that hybrid working could become a thing of the past in just two years. In this blog post we share why we think hybrid working is here to stay!
The rise in popularity of hybrid working
Let’s be honest. We’ve all been working from home for the last 18 months and on the whole we’ve quite enjoyed it. More flexibility, no commute, easy access to our favourite biscuits… there are certainly a lot of positives to working from our own environment. But, as much as we’ve enjoyed working from home, we have missed the office. Zoom calls just aren’t the same. Humans are sociable creatures and we crave the collaboration, camaraderie and creativity that are fostered when we come together as a team.
It’s no wonder then that as the UK recovers from the pandemic, a blend of homeworking and office working (known as hybrid working) is expected to become the new normal. However, a report released recently by the Centre for Cities think tank has suggested that the rise in popularity of hybrid working may be short-lived. In fact, they predict the five-day office week could become the norm again within as little as two years.
The benefits of office working
- Promote positive workplace culture
- Generate innovation and creativity
- Make it easier to support employees (particularly those that are new to the business or the working world)
- Promote positive mental health
- Provide a safer/ more suitable workspace (many homes just don’t have the space to facilitate safe homeworking)
The positives that come from office working are undeniable. As a result, we expect that we’ll start to see employees increase the amount of time they come into the office as COVID-19 cases drop. Some might even choose to come in full-time. But many won’t.
Hybrid working is here to stay
While many employees will increase the amount of time they spend in the office, the majority of office workers won’t come in for the full five days. Even before COVID-19, flexible working practices were on the rise. But having no option but to work from home during the pandemic has given even more of us a taste of this flexibility. And we don’t want to go back – not fully.
And it isn’t just hybrid working that we’ve had a taste of. Many people have had to work flexible hours to fit childcare and other family commitments around work with schools and other care facilities being closed. As such, we anticipate a rise in other forms of flexible working such as early start and finish times or flexitime schemes that facilitate a better work/life balance.
The future of office design
Of course, changes to working patterns and practices will inevitably lead to changes in workplace design. If fewer staff members are in the office on a full-time basis, less space is needed for desks and other types of workstations. As a result, many businesses are looking to redesign their offices to use their space to increase collaboration and enhance company culture. In fact, a whopping 70% of UK businesses are planning an office upgrade this year. If you’d like to join them, get in touch. We’d love to work with you to make your office design dreams a reality.