What is remote working? The research firm Gartner defines remote work as “a type of flexible working arrangement that allows an employee to work from remote location outside of corporate offices.”
It’s easy to assume that remote work — otherwise referred to as work from home (WFH) or telecommuting — has had little relevance since the COVID-19 pandemic finally subsided. After all, as recently as a decade ago, remote work was usually permitted in very few circumstances.
However, several statistics about remote working suggest that many of the people who turned to it as a make-do arrangement aren’t quite willing to return to the old way of doing things. Hence, remote working is here to stay — and this situation has implications for offices…
How attitudes to remote working have changed
In the early 2010s, most employers were reluctant to allow employees to work remotely. This was largely due to concern that the employees could lose productivity as a result.
In a recent survey, 91% of respondents were found to enjoy working remotely — and cited flexibility as the largest benefit of doing so.
The global management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company held a 2022 survey of 25,000 workers from various industries — and 87% of the respondents claimed that they would take a chance to work remotely if offered it.
With remote working now mainstream, how could offices be affected?
Remote working has been credited with many benefits — including enabling employees to strike a better work-life balance and employers to save money on renting office space.
Naturally, if you run a company where several members of the workforce do much of their working on a remote basis, you could find that you don’t need quite as much physical office space as you once did.
However, you also can’t be certain how this picture could change in the future. Consider the fact that, as remote working was only recently transformed from a niche practice into a widespread one, and unexpectedly at that, the tables could soon turn again before too long.
Also, even if remote working continues to hold up in popularity in the foreseeable future, this could still see your business grow its total number of employees and consequently end up with a surprisingly crowded office.
The takeaway from all this is that you just can’t be certain what the future could hold for your business and its particular office requirements. You could therefore benefit from asking a broker like Office Freedom to find you an office rental deal that has flexibility at its heart.
Hybrid work is a complicating factor
Hybrid work makes the future of office usage even harder to predict. One article published by the World Economic Forum says this about an eye-opening finding of one study: “Nearly half of respondents (49%) said they prefer a hybrid work arrangement, where they can divide their time between the office and another location.”