Following the pandemic, organizations are going to have to reimage what the future of the office will look like. Forbes detailed predictions for what our office spaces could look like in the future:
More Contractors & Freelancers
An MBO report predicts that by 2025 over half of adults in the U.S. will be doing or will have done some type of freelance work. During the pandemic, organizations realized that they may not have to hire in-office employees; instead, may be able to rely on contractors and freelancers to do the work they need when and where they like, and make them part of their operational structure.
Organizations will discover that they can build their teams regionally and even globally. If they are strategic about using the right collaboration tools and technology, they may not have to worry about borders, time zones and language barriers. Pinterest cancelled their new office space in 2020 and one of their company leaders spoke publicly about having a more distributed workforce that will give them a more diverse team in terms of talent and background.
Even before the pandemic offices were slowly adopting more flexible work schedules and after seeing remote work carry them through the pandemic, they are realizing that it may be pointless to require employees to be in the office for 40 hours per week. Based off a PWC survey, many executives think three days in the office per week will be necessary to maintain company culture and if they use the proper tools, they can transition to a hybrid work model.
One Big Coffee Shop
Teams and offices may become more distributed which could lead to giant headquarters being swapped out for smaller office locations in key areas. These offices may potentially look like giant coffee shops where workers can stay all day, or for part of the day, where they can set up workstations and move tables around to work more collaboratively. They may have outdoor spaces and fitness center as well.
A More Even Playing Field
We could also see a flattening of organizational hierarchy in multi-sized companies because they will have more equal advantages, in terms of accessing talent globally, while saving on overhead costs by keeping their offices small and hybrid. This will lead to them being able to compete more with larger corporations.
In order to adapt to these changes, companies should invest in workspaces with flexible furniture, video conferencing and chat apps, walls for social distancing, and various other tools that will make the space more accommodating to what employees want to have going forward in the hybrid world.
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