As coronavirus cases top 1 million worldwide, the way people live their daily lives continues to get more and more unusual.
Countries all over the world have begun to impose lockdown measures, slowing the spread of the virus and saving the lives of those most vulnerable – the total death toll from COVID-19 now reaching 74,816.
The UK is no exception to these measures, PM Boris Johnson addressing the nation on the 23rd March, urging Brits to “stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives”.
As part of these new rules, non-essential shops were closed, public gatherings of more than two people were banned, and employees from all different sectors were told to work from home where they can.
Whilst 1.7 million people in the UK worked mainly from home in 2019, for the rest of the country’s workforce, these new regulations will change much of the way businesses now operate, and potentially how they will continue to work once lockdown is over.
But what exactly will this mean for offices throughout the UK?
Offices Benefit From Remote Workers
With a considerable amount of the UK’s workforce now working remotely, businesses may start to see benefits from this. With less distractions from colleagues and other office activities, employees may find they are more productive when working on their own.
This could result in businesses offering staff more flexibility with remote working, meaning office space could be freed up and used more productively.
Whilst more employees may be offered the chance to work remotely, businesses will still need workspace to facilitate collaborations, attract new talent and retain existing staff who can’t do their job from home (or simply prefer working at the office).
If more employees decide to work remotely, office design may also change to focus on collaborative aspects of the business. This could include swapping out personal workspaces for bigger meeting rooms and other co-working areas.
However, whilst the design of offices could become more focused on collaborative spaces, it’s worth noting that many employees prefer to work in the office.
Therefore, the extent of these changes could vary depending on how employees take to working from home.