It isn’t exactly news that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live in the UK. Perhaps the most noticeable of these changes, however, has been in our working habits.
When the coronavirus crisis began to make itself felt in the spring of 2020, many of us who were accustomed to working in an office switched to home working. Since then, we’ve often gone back and forth between the two with new lockdowns and reopenings.
Whatever the situation has been for you, we felt it was important to look back and take note of exactly how office life has changed for many of us since the pandemic began.
Not everyone has made the return to the office
Given the curious circumstances we’ve all faced since the COVID-19 outbreak first hit hard, it’s only natural that we would see a change in people’s working needs. In fact, an article published by BBC Worklife reported that 72% of people wished to split their time working from the office and from home.
New expectations have been created for employers about flexibility, working conditions and life balance, that can’t simply be undone. After decades of the ‘9 to 5’, and the belief that office-centric work was the best thing for business, it came as a surprise to some firms that embracing the change to greater employee freedom actually helped to increase productivity.
Making a huge shift like this has forced offices to embrace the best practices from office culture and switch their focuses to a more supportive culture. Importance is now placed on improving the lives of employees, while still getting the best from them.
Companies are going virtual first
After learning about their employees’ desire to change their working habits, many companies are taking steps to create a hybrid working environment, setting out a ‘virtual-first’ working pattern.
All this means workforces are being distributed across the office and home, and companies are taking necessary steps to ensure this happens efficiently. It also means that cloud storage is frequently being used for data, and that security measures are in place for different modes of working.
It has also meant, of course, previously ‘technophobic’ workers being given an enforced ‘crash course’ on modern communications solutions, such as Zoom. The end result is that the population is probably better placed than it has ever been before to work effectively from anywhere.
Embracing these new skills and technologies will continue to help businesses to flourish in the post-COVID world.
More focus on mental wellbeing
While there is no positive in the sharp rise in mental health issues we have seen as a result of the pandemic, this situation has at least forced many businesses to focus more closely on the wellbeing of their employees, beyond their physical health.
Now more than ever, companies are going above and beyond to promote positive mental wellbeing among teams. The focus on mental wellbeing in the workplace has gathered so much momentum, that even after the coronavirus, it looks set to keep going. The pandemic has forced businesses to understand and acknowledge the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Changes to design and ventilation
Although we have returned to relative ‘normality’ in the UK, COVID-19 hasn’t just gone away. Even after most of the workforce has been vaccinated, the desire for space and social distancing remains. The post-COVID world will likely see fewer people working in the office, and businesses need to help protect the health of those who remain in the office.
Businesses also need to understand that not everyone returning to the office will be confident doing so. They need to return to a space that they feel is healthy and safe. They also need to be sure that the working environment will be clean, and that they will have access to all of the cleaning materials they will require.
Now is also an excellent time to introduce ventilation systems to the office, to make sure any once stuffy rooms have air running through them, to help filter out particles of the virus. Maximum occupancy signs should also be considered on meeting rooms and lifts.
Are your own organisation’s offices as secure as they can be?
With more people working from home – sometimes even entire workforces – it is more important than ever to ensure that your own organisation’s commercial buildings are well defended and secure.
If you are looking for access control systems in Essex, look no further than Firstford Ltd. We carry out CCTV installation, as well as maintenance work to make sure any potential issues are picked up on in good time.
Help to keep your building safe in these ever-changing post-COVID times, by reaching out to us to discuss the sophisticated security solutions we can provide in London, Essex, and elsewhere in the UK.