WORKPLACE Solutions & REMOTE WORK Strategies
Coronavirus-related restrictions have proved that employees are flexible when the situation demands it. Despite many managers’ expectations, productivity has not dropped and trust between employees and their managers as well as among teams grew.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about major changes in the work practices forcing majority of employees to work from home. Within the business services in the Czech Republic this transformation happened quickly and smoothly also since 54% of employees already worked from home at least 1 day per week even before the pandemic.
“The pandemic has broken down all the barriers that often arise between employers and employees when it comes to flexible working environments and has shown that much more flexible arrangements are possible than previously thought.”
COVID-19 forces the move of the vast majority of employees within the business services to their home offices. What impact did this have on productivity and motivation of the employees? The ABSL Survey 2020 shows that the centres observed an increase in the level of motivation of the employees working remotely.
This is further confirmed by Colliers Post-COVID-19 Workplace Report 2020 among 5,000 employees, which showed that with sufficient support and remote leadership the majority of employees feel as productive and when working from the office. However, for collaboration and meetings the office continues to be the preferred workplace.
While a certain share of work-from-home is normal for many roles, the office workplace will still continue to be the main hub for collaboration, interaction, and innovation in organizations. The need for flexibility and faster dynamics in the workspace will require a shift in company culture. This might include custom design to make employees feel good in their offices and further increase their productivity and loyalty.
New office models include non-dedicated work areas which reduces the square meters needed for the traditional office-like areas. With the office environment adapting to flexibility and coworking, the collaboration of employees will be enhanced, and their greater engagement will lead to more creative ideas.
For more information, download the Colliers Post-COVID-19 Workplace Report 2020.
Many of the business services centres are reflecting on the new work practices by re-designing their workplace. For example, 50% of the centres are planning to increase the share of desk-sharing workstations to account for the higher flexibility their employees experience. As a result, the share of employees who are using the desk-sharing workstations has risen by 26% compared to the pre-COVID period.
Companies employing many so-called white-collar workers, i.e. administrative professions, have several options to choose from in order to reorganize their offices to allow their people as much flexibility as possible and to support and develop their corporate culture.
One of the possibilities is the Hub & Spoke model, in which the company reduces the size of the main office and complements it with smaller spaces in different locations in the same city or even within other regions. Offices in several locations are already operated by many large companies today, but so far individual spaces have not been used in the Hub & Spoke model, but were intended only for one specific department, not for all company employees.
“It is for these companies that the Hub & Spoke model is offered as suitable and a feasible option available in a relatively short time. The aim is essentially to rebuild the regional offices into a kind of internal co-working, where any employee of the given company can work.”
Another suitable alternative is the Flex & Core model, which combines the company’s head office offering a high-quality design and technologically equipped shared internal work environment with membership in one or more co-working centers. This model is especially suitable for companies with dynamically changing number of employees and therefore a fluctuating requirement for the capacity of offices.