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Over the last decade, the meaning of a job has shifted significantly, and how we do our work has also completely changed.
Freelancing has gone mainstream, the last year has accelerated the adoption of remote work in a major way, and the office environment we used to know no longer exists. Many companies have folded their in-office operations, backed out of commercial real estate leases and shifted to a remote model in some capacity.
In many ways, the space between the office and the home has shrunk, making the two worlds almost overlap. It has become a world where a hybrid between working from home and the office has emerged.
We all need to be thinking about this new way of working, as business owners and workers alike. We have to be prepared for this new reality where work and home are almost interchangeable. Here are some of the things we need to be prepared for when it comes to the work model we now have.
The office as we knew it before has now changed, and the people who want to come to work expect a certain environment, when it comes to how the office is set up and decorated. It might seem frivolous, but the look and feel of an office matters.
People have spent over a year working from home, and going back to an office that feels rigid might actually compromise their productivity. Consider redecorating your office space to make it a more enjoyable space to stay in.
Think of putting in neutral but inviting floors that feel less cold and commercial. Instead of bare walls, invest in stylish, modern and interesting wall art that brings a bit of home style into the work environment. You can also buy comfy chairs and couches where people can also work. Decorating is a big part of being productive in the work environment of the future.
If you’re working from home it’s important to make your work environment not just productive, but actually healthy and good.
Many people don’t have proper office setups, and it can actually be bad for their health. Sitting at a desk that makes you look downward into the computer screen can cause back and neck strain. Uncomfortable chairs can make for an unpleasant sitting experience, and the wrong desk can actually compromise how well people work.
Consider putting some money towards new home office furniture so that you also feel like your home allows you to do your best work without compromising on health and wellness.
Last year proved to people that working from home was a possibility, and many people took really well to it. It’s created an argument for a work model that allows people to work according to what suits them. This doesn’t mean in-office work is going to fall away completely.
The work has now made room for a hybrid model, where teams can choose how they work and mix in-office and at-home. For example, a team can work together in the office twice a week and coordinate meetings and group activities to align with that time. Then the rest of the days, people can work from home.
We don’t all have to work in the office all the time, and work from home all the time, we can find a productive middle ground.
In 2020, it became clear that there were two types of businesses, the ones who were prepared to work from home, and the ones that were left scrambling. You can imagine that the companies with the best client and employee experiences are the ones who were prepared.
You can now expect clients to ask for your remote readiness and for your answer to be part of their decision to hire you or not. Even job candidates will want to know how ready their potential employers are for their staff to work from home. Some people will want that as the first option, so it’s worth considering having a plan in place so you’re moving with the times.
In 2020, when all work was made virtual, many business owners found themselves in the difficult and costly position of having to supply their team members with computers they could move around with. Some offices actually allowed their employees to go home with the desktop computers.
If your office is only using desktop computers, it’s hard for your staff to adapt to working from home. If you equip them with laptops however, it makes so many other processes easier. It means they can have an easier time moving between working at home and working at the office.
Are you ready for the new way of working? Is your home and your office set up for it? As we’ve demonstrated above, there are many things to think about, but putting the right structures in place will put you in a better position to do your very best work.