The lockdown that we are all living may seem frustrating for some. Still, I personally feel that it can also stimulate creativity and the thought process. The workload does not seem to get less (on the contrary) but there’s still the ability to unwind since most other activities outside the work context have slowed down significantly!

In all of this turmoil one thought that keeps crossing my mind is: what on earth will our office look like once we fully return to the workplace. It won’t be the same, that’s for sure, but what will the 20-21 OFFICE 2021???

Here are some thoughts:

  • Video takes a bigger part of the pie
    • everybody now knows how to use video as a valid and efficient meeting tool
    • people are realising that it saves time
    • talking to someone by video is not the same as face-to-face, but it’s close and saves transport (read: less pollution)
  • Regular homeworking
    • you have gotten used to working from home and have developed your rhythm
    • the need to be at the office every day seems not as necessary
    • it saves traveling time (read: less pollution)
  • Office permanency
    • let’s face it, it is still important that an office is manned to remain reachable and accessible by phone and physically
    • rather than requiring full attendance from the entire team there should be enough persons available during office hours
    • team members will alternate their attendance to make sure that all guests are welcome. Good planning is key here
    • but it is no longer necessary that all are at the office every day of the week
  • When working at the office
    • standing desks and meeting tables are the trend
    • when meeting people, replace the handshake by a nod or bow (as they do in Japan), it’s safer
    • Make sure that there’s enough meeting space between people (physical distancing)
    • Dog sitters may be the next trend. Since your loved ones have gotten so used to their bosses being at home they may otherwise get lonely
  • Home working conditions
    • employers that increase home working options may want to offer their staff ergonomic facilities such as a chair, large home screen…
    • employees that work from home may encounter difficulties separating work from private tasks. They should have work-life balance alerts that remind them when it’s work time, and when it’s time to stop working
    • Flexible hours should be available when possible, and these should be visible between team members (who is available when)
    • There should be clear objectives, regular planned video meetings for status updates (also to keep the social contact going)
    • It’s all about engagement and trust
  • New jobs and tools
    • At small companies colleagues can organise HR planning between themselves and their management
    • For large organisations this may create chaos
    • Hence our suggestion for new jobs and tools:
      • HR Planner – the ‘go to’ person that oversees all planning and with whom you can check what is, and what isn’t possible
      • Homeworking planning tool , here’s an opportunity for software developers, can be developed from scratch or integrated into the HR platforms that large companies use today

There are other trends to come such as the sharing of employees between companies, sharing office spaces between companies, smaller offices (as less people are working there at the same time), need for allowing employees to have two part-time jobs or a freelance activity next to the job…

Finally, after the so called social (or rather physical) distancing there will be a need to people to reconnect and become ‘socially close’. Coming to the workplace will no longer be only about working together, but rather about getting together, making things happen as team and having fun.

If this article has triggered you, then do share your thoughts on the subject. React through LinkedIn so that we can start the conversation!

Share this blog on :

Related Posts

M18: one of the best and personal headhunters in Belgium


Want to receive the latest straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter and don't miss a single opportunity!