What is the future of the office?

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Anna Gowdridge the Human At Work Director for Virgin Unite posing on a balcony
by Anna Gowdridge
8 December 2020
Lockdown has profoundly disrupted the world of work. For many who work in an office this has meant swiftly switching to remote working, throwing together our work and home lives like never before.

Serious questions are now being asked about how the office will be used in the future, if at all. Most companies are not rushing to get everyone back, and several have already announced plans to let people work from home indefinitely.

Not tying employees to a location has many advantages – you can increase your talent pool, offer the flexibility many workers are asking for, provide opportunities for meaningful work to people who could otherwise be excluded from your organisation, and potentially make significant savings.

However, many employers are reporting that whilst remote working has proven productive, their people are missing face to face interaction. For some the last few months have been incredibly difficult, for example those with children or without an adequate work set-up at home

Protecting your organisational culture remotely in the long-term requires consideration, as does how you will replace the informal learning that happens in an office environment.

Over recent months we have had the privilege of being able to speak to businesses in the 100% Human at Work community to discuss these issues and understand the questions that they have. From those conversations we have created a 100% Human at Work discussion paper to explore this issue, which we hope will spark discussion within your organisation.

2020 has proven that nothing about the way we work is set in stone, and shown us how adaptable we can be. This is a moment in time for us to reimagine traditional workplace structures, which we may have been wedded to for far too long.

We’d love to hear what the future of the office looks like for your organisation – please take a look at the paper and get in touch.