Nearly three-quarters of business leaders plan to permanently adopt flexible and agile working post COVID-19.
This research was conducted by Dale Office Interiors, a company that designs and builds office spaces, found that 71 per cent of managing directors (MDs), CEOs and business owners wish to make flexible or agile work part of their staff working week.
Remote working which has been forced on businesses due to COVID-19 has been well received, as 80 per cent of companies feel their staff are as productive or more productive whilst working remotely.
Over half (56 per cent) of business owners are planning on downsizing their office space, still offices are seen as vital for face-to-face meetings, collaborative working, social interaction and for those who work better in those environments.
The new office designs being considered to help companies adapt to a post COVID-19 world are installing sanitising stations throughout the office (61 per cent), rethinking office layout to allow easier and deeper cleaning (35 per cent), and more antimicrobial materials in to furnishings (23 per cent).
David Bricknell, MD of Dale Office Interiors, said:
I think most people already knew intuitively that COVID-19 is going to have a big impact on how we work, but it’s still quite shocking to see the stats.
Hygiene and social distancing will obviously be top priority in the short-term, and almost all UK businesses will have to invest in rethinking the way they work and their office design and layout. It’s amazing to see how far along the long-term thinking is among the leaders of British industry.
Before lockdown, many businesses had failed to adopt flexible/agile working practices, preferring to stick with the traditional in-office, 9-to-5, five-day week, with the longstanding metrics for success largely due to a lack of trust and perceived costs.
The one small benefit of COVID-19 is that it has given the British workforce the opportunity to prove itself capable of being as or more productive working remotely, enabling businesses to consider the long term benefits of allowing people to work where they work best, whether that be from home, in a booth in the office, at a desk, or even at a local coffee shop (when we can return to them). It has sparked a revolution!
Allowing people to work remotely when they and the business will benefit from it will have a huge positive effect on everything from emissions due to less cars being on the road, to reducing sickness related absenteeism and improving the mental health of the nation, thus boosting productivity.
In order to gather these results, Dale Office Interiors conducted a survey of 100 UK business leaders.
Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.