The government has now u-turned on its drive to get people back into the office, but they shouldn’t have expected people to bounce back to it anyway according to Pete Braithwaite, COO at Computacenter’s KIT Online.
Braithwaite said that the the future is no longer 9-5 office days, five days a week, even once the pandemic passes. The future comes in the form of hybrid working, which could make cities outside of London and Manchester have access to a larger pool of talent.
“When we’ve seen how well we can perform at home, the idea of going back into the office five days a week is a little unnecessary. Of course with some roles, including many in healthcare, working from home isn’t an option, some do not have the space or desire to work from home and others prefer the social and creativity aspect of working in the office, which is fine. But we can’t scare people to return to the office when they’re trying to protect themselves and their family’s health, and they can do their jobs perfectly well at home”, Braithwaite said.
He thinks the future is neither working from home or working in the office. It’s hybrid working, with the ability to work from anywhere. Being around people is what inspires some. For others, it’s nature.
“New remote-working technology has helped many companies to adapt easily to the new ways of working. Many national and international teams were already using video-conferencing software but this has become the day-to-day modus operandi for most successful teams now. Other companies have taken the opportunity to review their systems and ensure that they are fit for a more distributed workforce, investing in more portable devices that help employees work anywhere around the house and balance work with parenting. The move away from a desktop reliance has made lives easier”, he said.
He said that the fourth industrial revolution is much closer than we thought and while he understood that the government wants to breathe more life into our cities, the genie isn’t going to go back into the bottle – working from home isn’t going to go back to being only when someone has a doctor’s appointment.
“Instead, there needs to be a blended way of working. Otherwise, the best people will leave for a business which is adapting faster”, Braithwaite said.
He said that successful companies aren’t downsizing, but instead they’re adapting. The future will be leaner and the economy will shift as people spend their money differently, such as in suburbs and on home renovation.