Bite-sized views from 3Kites Consulting – The physical side (‘Did you have a good day at the office?)
The physical side (‘Did you have a good day at the office?)
With a second spike of Covid on the horizon, normal office life doesn’t look like it will return any time soon. Safety is paramount but we need to balance that with the human need for physical interaction, albeit with precautionary measures in place.
- Perhaps we don’t need all that office space, although physical distancing may demand more capacity than we thought even if only half the workforce is going to be in the office at any given time. Hopefully, there will come a time when we no longer worry about physical distancing but, either way, we should reconsider what the office is for – work from home, collaborate in the office (sometimes)? Different teams on different days? If so, consider how to structure/co-ordinate office days most effectively.
- When working from home is something the firm requires, what equipment should it provide – not just laptops, but office-grade desks and chairs to allow comfortable and safe working? And what about MFDs? Some firms prevent laptops printing to home printers to reduce paper, but there are times when a physical document (especially a 200 page one) is easier to read than a screen version.
- Such changes may have a dramatic effect on housing when the convenience of city-centre living no longer justifies high costs. If living costs start to even up across the country and high rail fares have less impact, how will this alter equations for near-shoring operations around the country? Does it still make sense to charge more for someone who’s nominally based in the London office compared to someone based in Bristol when they might both be
working from home in Reading? Why would professionals choose to be based in Central London? And should there be a pay differential?