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https://www.village-hotels.co.uk/blog/posts/2021/4/the-future-of-work-what-will-the-workplace-look-like-in-2021/

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22 Apr 2021

The future of work: what will the workplace look like in 2021?

 

2020 and the Coronavirus pandemic shook up every aspect of our lives! We all experienced significant change almost overnight, whether that be in our social lives, the corporate world, or both. Workforces across the world were forced to ‘experiment’ with home working and many reported positive effects. As restrictions ease, and we take a step into the ‘new normal’, we’ve looked at how the workplace might look in 2021. 

 

HYBRID WORKING MODELS

For many years, the traditional office working model dominated the corporate landscape, with 9-5 office based working expected within most companies. However, the coronavirus pandemic and the need for social distancing flipped this on it’s head, with at least 46.6% of people working from home in April 2020. The unavoidable ‘work from home experiment’ provided a unique opportunity for us to reimagine how we work and run our companies - ultimately changing our working lives forever. Slacks Future Forum research identified that home workers reported higher levels of job satisfaction, work-life balance, productivity as well as reduced stress and anxiety. Only 12% of those surveyed wanted to return to the office full time, 13% wanted to work from home full time and 72% calling for a hybrid remote-office working model. Cisco reported that pre-covid, only 19% of corporations allowed home working, compared to 62% now, and companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are already announcing their switch to long term remote work, so it appears that traditional office working could well be a thing of the past.  

 

If you’re adapting to the hybrid working model, VWorks shared workspace offers the perfect office away from home - without distractions. Enjoy the safety and comfort of your own private workspace or private office pod, with superfast Wi-Fi clickshare technology and tasty refreshments available. This is the future of the workplace. Find out more

 

IMPROVED WORK-LIFE BALANCE

The pandemic redefined our work-life balance, with many of us ditching the commute and working from home. With the hybrid working model here to stay and restrictions now easing it is thought that our work-life balance will only improve. It is estimated that commuting was costing the average UK worker 58.4 minutes of their day and £146 a month. Many of us are finding more time to exercise and will have even more time to relax, socialise and enjoy a better work-life balance as restrictions ease. This should improve productivity at work, as well as job satisfaction and mental wellbeing. 

 

We understand the importance of a work-life balance, and we’ve introduced our combined VWorks and Village Gym Platinum membership. You’ll have access to everything you need for a productive day at work and more! Hot desks, cool meeting pods and the tech you need to get things done. You’ll also get full access to Village Gym, with state-of-the-art equipment, award-winning fitness classes and a pool. Find out more



ENHANCED CYBERSECURITY

The increase in people working from home, and the need for improved cybersecurity go hand in hand, with 93% of companies already adapting their cybersecurity policies to allow remote working. Many companies were unprepared for the overnight shift to home working and were forced to allow employees to work from unsecure networks and personal devices which left them vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches - 65% of companies reported they had been exposed to an attack in 2020. With remote working seemingly here to stay, it is expected that we will have an increased need for improved IT systems and cybersecurity, and companies will have a strong focus on protecting themselves. 

 

CONFERENCE CALLS

Conferencing systems proved invaluable in 2020; providing a much-needed way for us to stay in touch, whilst we remained physically apart. On 1st April 2020, Zoom reported that usage had ‘’ballooned overnight’’, and this continued through the year as we spent a lot of time on conference calls, with Zoom quizzes, daily team check ins and virtual meetings.  As we settle into the new way of working, and restrictions ease allowing us to meet face to face when needed, we predict that we will have a reduced need for conference calls. This will free up space in our diaries, providing more time to focus on the task at hand. 

 

MULTI-SKILLED TEAMS

In 2020, many companies had to adapt, repurpose and retrain their workforce to deal with the effects of the pandemic, including restrictions, consumer behaviour and budgets. The furlough scheme was introduced to support the economy, and the reduction in workforce numbers meant that many employees had to step into a different role to support business needs or may have been out of work for a period of time, returning to a different role altogether. It is likely that business will move forward with a focus on future proofing, through multi-skilled teams, reskilling and upskilling. This will allow businesses to weather any changes in the economic market. There will also be a focus on automation and artificial intelligence to assist productivity, efficiency and business outcomes - it is estimated that up to 375 million workers will need to switch occupations or acquire new skills by 2030 because of automation and artificial intelligence. 

 

The pandemic, economic situation and technological advancements have irreversibly changed the way that we work with many of us now embracing change, whether that be through adopting long term remote working, a new role or a developed skill set.