According to Lenovo’s latest Future of Work study, 67% of employees and IT teams say their company’s productivity has improved due to remote working. This flexibility was driven by necessity due to Covid, and it is here to stay as employees have become accustomed to a new normal.
The future is a flexible hybrid arrangement
Distributed offices allow employees to work from where they live instead of in a traditional office building. They are usually located near one another but may be spread over several locations.
The key here is that you’re not looking at one single office but a network of people working together.
Companies will never entirely ditch the office. Businesses are instead ditching the HQ system and leaning towards distributed offices for employees to gather and collaborate.
An example is Meta (Facebook). CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2020 that half of his employees would work remotely in the next decade. The company disclosed plans to purchase a $368-million office building in Seattle soon after.
State of work in Africa
In a poll conducted by AfricaWorks, 15% of responders voted to work onsite, 35% chose to work from home and 65% of the responders chose the hybrid model.
But there is a massive upside to the new normal: Reduced costs and increased productivity.
McKinsey estimates that some organisations could reduce their real-estate costs by 30% in the next few years by rethinking their portfolio of space solutions, for example, with shorter-term leasing agreements.
A study by World Wide Worx for Cisco revealed that the shift to remote working has improved productivity for 29% of organisations in South Africa.
How to prepare for the office of the future:
- Change how work is done. The hybrid work model allows employees to work at home but come to the office for ideation and human connection. It offers different options; you could opt for 1-2 days a week in the office or keep the office strictly for meetings and collaborations.
- Create a strong company culture. Employees with a vision of what the company stands for and how they want to help their customers create strong company culture. This will help them feel motivated, which is one of the biggest challenges employees face when working from home or remote locations.
- Create clear boundaries. More flexibility doesn’t mean less structure. The companies getting it right are the ones with both flexibility and structure. Set boundaries and communicate them clearly.
- Embrace coworking spaces. By promoting hybrid work arrangements, coworking spaces enable businesses to cut costs and increase productivity. My company AfricaWorks is one such flexible workspace enabling businesses to pivot to the hybrid work model. We are home to fast-growing scaleups on the continent like Paystack, Flutterwave, Spotify and Glovo.
- Leverage technology. Technology can help bridge the gap between remote/hybrid work. With tools like cloud storage and collaboration software, teams can stay connected and increase productivity.
Source: Greg Schwebig | Incafrica.com