How a pandemic has impacted our relationship to work: The Future of Work

The health period in which we have been immersed for over a year has clearly affected all aspects of our lives. In particular our relationship with work, and all that it encompasses: relationships, tools, spaces... 

Estelle Josse
How a pandemic has impacted our relationship to work: The Future of Work

Teleworking, a change in our professional life  

In any case, this crisis has accelerated the digital transition, which tends to totally change the way we work. Between the confinements and the deployment of teleworking on a large scale, a totally new phenomenon, new working methods have emerged.

The democratization of telework has not only disadvantages. Everyone has lived the experience in his or her own way, and some have seen the advantages: more comfortable, less constraining and stressful... But the greatest evil of this new mode of remote work remains the lack of social relations. This leads to a feeling of loneliness, but also to more difficult communication between employees.

There is no doubt that telework has become an integral part of our daily lives. It is in place and will remain so even after the COVID period. This method of working has had an impact on the way we design our premises and their management.

A new mode of organization is required and changes our needs 

Naturally, organisational methods have been put in place to remedy this situation. The demand is unanimous: employees want to be back on site, however partially. In particular, the rotation of employees each week, which makes it possible to create a new rhythm combining face-to-face and remote work. However, this new organisation involves fewer people on site, and therefore limits the need in terms of the number of workstations and the size of the premises.  

Issues in the real estate sector 

This health situation has strongly affected real estate. In this context of economic crisis, companies will adjust their space needs. Moreover, with the occupancy rate of offices falling (and never rising as much as before the crisis), some surfaces are considered as surplus. Thus, most companies are looking for smaller spaces.  

For the economic aspect as well as for the practical aspect, it is no longer a question of investing or committing oneself on a long term basis. The 3/6/9 leases seem much too long and restrictive. Short term, subletting and coworking spaces are much more appreciated because they are less binding. 

Need for confidentiality spaces for videoconferencing 

A need has arisen from this new organization, that of isolated and quiet spaces. Long before COVID, this need was already present within companies, but it has become essential with the number of calls and video-conference meetings that we are confronted with every day. 

The most recommended solution is to invest in phone boxes and acoustic meeting rooms. They offer this possibility of isolation while integrating into the logic of space reduction thanks to their compact format. For high-performance and intelligent phone boxes, you can visit our product category. Available as a solo version for calls or as an acoustic meeting room to talk with your colleagues. 

The need for social space 

In addition to confidentiality spaces, less formal relaxation spaces are also welcome in the office. This crisis has highlighted the importance of the relational aspect in our professional life. The office is more than a work space, it is above all a space for socialising. Hence the importance of offering more informal spaces to encourage links between employees. This is especially true for new recruits, for whom teleworking can complicate their integration into the company. 

The flex office, a new concept of the office 

Also, the conception of the office itself has changed. The situation has tended to accelerate the move to the flex office. As a reminder, the flex office is a layout that is characterized by the absence of workstations assigned to workers and closed offices. 

With office workstation occupancy rates below 60%, there is no need to invest in allocated workstations. 

When well organized, the flex office allows for a balance between presence and square meters used. Companies can thus adapt their space to their workforce and thus reduce their real estate costs. The fact that there are no longer any allocated posts, necessarily reduces the number of posts. 

The combination of telework and flex office is ideal. The office becomes a meeting place and meets logistical needs. Moreover, the distance between workers is easily respectable in this situation. 

How do you create a remote corporate culture? 

Some companies have gone to great lengths to create or maintain a corporate culture even from a distance. The fact is that, despite virtual team building, invitations to digital events, etc., the bonds between employees will never be as strong. 

This is why we strongly believe that a rhythm that alternates real and virtual is mandatory. With more than 3 days of teleworking per month, it is difficult to conceive that a group dynamic can emanate from the team. 

In conclusion, this situation, unprecedented in its scope and depth, has clearly changed our way of life and work. Of course, some professions have been more affected than others, depending on their activity. But the fact is that this situation has made us aware of the importance of the workplace, in terms of socialisation and space management. 

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