Since the beginning of the pandemic back in 2019, the crowded commute of the city and the traditional packed office have been largely absent from daily life as government precautions and lockdowns have made working from home a much more practical option.
But with the lifting of plan B Covid measures, at the end of January, came the end of the government’s working from home guidance. So what does this mean for those office workers who have been working from home on and off over the last two years?
Well a month after the lifting of these restrictions it is clear there will not be an instant snap back to normality, and the corporate world will likely continue to be hesitant as new variants arise and the potential for a new lockdown remains.
While some businesses have already begun trying to get people back to the office, many businesses representatives of major companies of have said they are not reverting to the old ways any time soon.
It seems as though remote working has been, implemented to great success, with the utilisation of live streaming, collaborate and sharing software to ensure that companies could continue working. There also remains a chance of further lockdowns due to the potential emergence of new strains of the coronavirus. Therefore, it is not too hard to imagine why companies are hesitant to jump back into close quarters work when they may be forced to go back to long distance collaboration soon after. This concern, combined with an apparent productivity increase while working from home may see a hybrid form of long-distance work stick around for quite some time.
What seems most likely to happen in the coming months is the continued implementation of hybrid working arrangements. These more flexible working patterns will be designed to meet employees needs and allow for more flexibility in environments in which the work can be done remotely. So, while office spaces will still be used and maintained for important meetings and as a dedicated workspace for some, it seems that the future may see the office become less crowded as staff frequent it only when expressly needed or by preference. So my question for the future is will the office become more of a resource than a workplace?
The government is apparently in favour of a return to the pre-Covid age in which the morning commute to the office is once again an inevitable norm for the majority during the working week, in hopes of returning the lifeblood of businesses that rely on commuters such as public transport.
Business owners have responded by attempting to urge the UK government to offer discounts and incentives to get people commuting, as the sometimes, extortionate costs of public transport during the daily commute are almost as much of a deterrent to return to old ways as the Coronavirus.
What do you think? Will things return to the way they were before? Or will the way the workplace functions remain forever changed in the wake of the Pandemic? Share you thoughts with us over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Thanks for reading!
Oliver is a writer and journalist who loves fantasy fiction and table top gaming, with a bit of acting on the side!