This article is part of Raydiant’s new Future of Workspace Series which features interviews with a wide range of professionals and thought leaders to learn more about the future of office space and how the workplace experience will evolve.
The following is an interview we recently had with Jeremy Ellis, co-founder & chief innovator at LaunchPad
What will be the 3 biggest lasting changes to the workplace caused by COVID?
With the increase in remote work in most corporate sectors, the need for larger offices is diminishing. Organizations only have managers and executives coming into the office, while most of the employees have shifted to working remotely. In these conditions, small companies can save up resources by moving to a smaller workspace that better fits their situation.
Before COVID-19 struck, Plexiglass desk dividers were used to prevent distractions and ensure privacy of employees as they worked in offices. But now, dividers are being used to maintain distance between employees working in a common area. Since employees being near each other in a workspace cannot be completely avoided, a divider separating them is a great preventative measure.
As more companies shift to a hybrid environment of remote and office work, large companies would want to fragmentize their workforce into smaller teams. Setting up individual COVID prevention strategies for each team would be a waste of resources when coworking spaces are already revamping up their space to accommodate them. So expect a rise in the demand for coworking businesses.
What workplace technologies will be the most important in the years ahead?
Employees will have to find new ways to complete work that had to be done in the office, or needed the presence of someone else. Going paperless will be the new norm in the future. No longer can you go to your boss’ office to get their signature? Technologies like digital signatures will have to be integrated into the normal worklife. Going paper-free is not only helpful with the COID-19 situation but has many other benefits. It saves time and resources, by speeding up the business process and creating a smoother workflow for the employees. It allows easier access to information, which is especially important with remote work being so popular now.
What will the workplace of the future look like?
It is difficult to say if remote working will completely be over even after COVID-19 has completely been eradicated. Businesses have realized the potential that remote employees can bring to the table due to their increased productivity. We can expect bigger companies to form some sort of hybrid work model, where proper remote work strategies and policies will have to be implemented. These hybrid models would be different for each company and it would be a challenge for them to figure it out. Another thing we may expect is the increased popularity of remote freelancers and contract workers over permanent employees.
What can organizations do to prepare for this new future?
As the new normal sets in, organizations would have to face challenges in order for their workforce to smoothly transition from completely remote work to a hybrid model. Proper strategies for effective communication will need to be implemented, which would allow remote employees to easily collaborate with those in the office. Part of the workforce that returns to the office would need to be trained for the new work culture.