With business leaders drawing a line under plans for the year that was 2020, many are turning their attention to contemplating what a COVID ‘normal’ life at work will look like in 2021.
Unfortunately, a return to work is not as simple as just restocking the milk fridge, and off you go, no business leader in Australia wants to bring their staff back to the office without a safe environment to do so. However, safety isn’t the only issue on the agenda in boardrooms around the country. The fact is that many employees have enjoyed their new lifestyle. Many don’t want a full-time return to the office. So what do leaders need to consider in planning their return to work so that it benefits everyone?
Whilst remote and flexible working are hardly new concepts, nobody had ever tested the theory that an entire workforce could work remotely.
Whilst enforced isolation was a cultural shock for many organisations; there have been benefits borne of innovation. Most organisations now have a more flexible workforce that can operate anytime from any location, offering more opportunities for customers to reach them and solve their problems as they arise.
Organisations need to be aware of how their employees want to work when offices start reopening. A recent Gartner survey revealed that more than 80% of company leaders plan to allow remote work at least part-time, even once it becomes safe to return to the office.
To make the hybrid workspace effective, you may want to consider what employees need to be productive at home, what equipment and support do you want to provide remote workers to make their experience as comfortable as if they were in the office.
The use of cloud based platforms to ensure users can access all their applications from anywhere in a secure way is of paramount importance to making this work in a long term sustainable way.
Other considerations for systems and workflow streamlining are ensuring all systems are zero trust, and system users have security training and enablement.
Until a vaccine, we’ll be living with the presence of the pandemic while people return to offices and workspaces. Every state government will have local guidelines to support a safe return to work. In Victoria is the notion of ‘work bubbles’ have been discussed as a viable option to bring people back onsite, alternatively an opt-in model or different teams taking a day of the week to work in person at your facility.
Whatever the permutation of this arrangement, you will need to manage it carefully with a digitally enabled managed workspace that can provide compliance and safety reporting.
At Logicalis Australia head office in Richmond Victoria, our plans include an Intelligent Managed Workspace solution which uses WiFi analytics tracking to capture who is in the office, how long they stay and monitor dwell times and staff density in the office. We are also looking at strategies for social distancing desk set up.
You can also check out our latest video showcasing a day in the life of the office worker in an Intelligent Managed Workspace.