It’s not exactly news that the modern office has undergone more changes in the past year than the past hundred. While rapid evolution has been the talk of the day and many companies have adapted extremely well to the new workplace requirements, the UK is now facing a key decision: do we go back to the way things were?
In 2020, nine out of ten workers who pivoted to working from home expressed their desire to retain that work style. However, a more recent study: The Future of Work after the Pandemic by Nationwide Building Society and Ipsos MORI, has found some surprising financial and health deficits to working from home that had not been reflected by previous public opinion reports.
- Young people: 50 per cent of Gen Z think working from home puts pressure on their wellbeing
- Older people: Only 40 per cent of Baby Boomers feel their employer has provided the technological training that they need
- Women: 47 per cent of mothers’ working hours are spent balancing paid work with other household activities. Mothers are also 1 ½ times more likely than fathers to have quit or lost their job since the beginning of lockdown
- Children: “Each pupil at home today could go on to lose an average 40,000 in future lifetime earnings.”
- Diversity: Financial deficits were most likely to be felt by those from ethnically diverse background (43 per cent in comparison to 35 per cent on average)
- Mental wellbeing: Every socioeconomic group’s mental health was reported to have worsened at a greater percentage than improved by around 45 per cent
- Climate concerns: Less energy is used per person for commuting than working from home. Home workers use an average 80 per cent more energy than a commuter
There have been differing approaches to solving the divided workplace, but two main ideas transcend industries: the return to the workplace as before, and secondly the hybrid workplace.
The Central London Alliance (CLA) is a Community Interest Company formed to support a sustainable, economic recovery of London’s business, hospitality, cultural, tourism, and retail sectors and to help both employers and workers to survive through coronavirus and beyond. While striving to understand what is best for employees and businesses and provide an effective workplace solution in both the short and long term, the CLA has helped pivot its members towards both office-based and hybrid working with impressive rates of success.
Insight’s ScaleUp survey found 80% of employees expect flexibility: so how do you proceed with the future of your workforce when it is so uncertain? For the CLA, the answer has been workplace software.
Larger companies have had trouble maneuvering vast, contact-heavy networks to operate solely online. A return to office doesn’t mean a return to the way things were before, and all companies will benefit from workplace software to improve communication strategies.
In 2017, companies used an average of 16 Software as a Service (SaaS) applications in the everyday running of their business, and pre-COVID predictions placed SaaS dependency in 2020 at over 80%. CLA partner Optimiser provided their unified Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to create a single bespoke platform and enabled 20,000 businesses to connect with each other from any device, anywhere in the world.
Optimiser’s platform enhances workplace communication by ensuring consistent access to highly accurate company data in order to improve employee productivity. Organisations lose a shocking 21% of productivity every year due to switching between platforms on the traditional SaaS offering, so by bundling all tools under a single subscription the CLA has been able to save costs while identifying and recognising business opportunities, and enabling their exploration.
The global situation is still unstable and prone to drastic change in short periods of time. Any plans made about work situations should be made bearing in mind that they will probably not remain the same for very long. That being said, employers can give employees security for the time being by creating clear and certain guidance on the expectations for the 2021-2022 workplace. As a result of the rise of the digital office in the past year, unified workplace software is the stable pillar supporting the country’s demand for clarity.
This piece has been been published in partnership with the Central London Alliance.
Check out the Central London Alliance and benefit from a partnership with 20,000 growing members, and visit Optimiser to understand how their scalable product offering can boost your business growth in 2021.