How Covid-19 is acting as a catapult for the future of work

The office isn’t dead. It is set to be a part of a new hybrid model of working as coronavirus rewrites the rules, say workplace change experts Suki Reilly and Angela Dettore of MovePlan

Is the office doomed as large companies continue to keep their workers at home? Is innovation on the wane as casual collisions in the workplace are ruled out in the pandemic? According to Suki Reilly and Angela Dettore of global office change and relocation specialist MovePlan, the office has a bright future – but it will be designed and used in a completely different way.

MovePlan’s predictions about the future are based on a solid understanding of office utilisation in the recent past. The company analysed data from 80 space utilisation studies it carried out between 2011 and 2019, spanning projects in Asia Pacific, Australia, Europe and North America. This global review, described in a report produced with WORKTECH Academy, revealed that many workspaces were significantly under-utilised in the decade before the outbreak of the pandemic – creating the conditions for change.

‘The office is entering its middle, pre-vaccine era…’

Now the office is in what Reilly describes as ‘its middle, pre-vaccine era’, with most people staying away. She expects the office to enter its post-vaccine era in 18 months, but there are immediate challenges on the horizon for organisations as Covid-19 catapults the workplace several years ahead into a new hybrid model of working. How can companies rethink old-school leadership strategies? How can people learn on the job when they’re in the workplace far less? And how can employers create engagement and not just one-way communication?

You can hear Suki Reilly and Angela Dettore of MovePlan in conversation on the subject of changing office culture in this special video for WORKTECH:

The MovePlan report – How People Work: A Review of Global Patterns in Office Space Utilisation – is based on observations and data capture of workstations, conferences rooms and alternative work settings. Five industry sectors were chosen for cross-sector analysis: finance/insurance, government, media, pharmaceuticals and technology. Access the report here

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