The After Effects
Some tiers of management who previously hardly experienced home working have had a pleasant surprise! The 'WFH' mode has engendered good levels of trust across all tiers of the team, and in some cases brief glimpses of a colleague’s home environment have deepened respect and understanding. Other positive aspects include concerns about IT failures and work ethic slipping when not directly supervised being debunked.
The consensus is that WFH will be a permanent part of the office language, suggesting that our use of the office will change as the demand for desk space gives way to meeting/collaboration/idea generation space. For the next few months (at least) there is a need for physical distance and separation, driving the design of spaces towards a more open footprint which can be adapted to reflect current working practices.
So, the new workplace is everywhere –the old work:life boundary is all but gone and we are (mostly!) enjoying the benefits of this; work happens anywhere and is not dependent on being present in the office. This raises questions about what the purpose of the office really is! Even before Covid-19, most workplaces were only running at between 30% - 60% occupancy.