Article

How companies are striking a new balance between office life and remote working

After the great home working experiment caused by COVID-19, companies of all sizes are now reassessing their stance on working from home.

June 01, 2020

Twitter and Facebook are among those to publicly embrace the idea of developing new work-from-home models, in some cases on a permanent basis. Google, meanwhile, has offered staff US$1,000 towards furniture for a home office.

Other highly regulated sectors like financial services are also now exploring how it fits into their ways of working as they realize many roles and functions can be done effectively from home.

“Working from home during the pandemic was driven by necessity not choice, but overall it’s been a remarkable success — it will accelerate a trend we’ve been observing for a while.” says Tom Carroll, Head of EMEA Corporate Research and Strategy at JLL. “Such unprecedented adoption of remote working has given companies and their employees an insight into the benefits of greater flexibility, but it has also highlighted some of its challenges.”

Half of respondents said they liked having no commute, with 45% enjoying flexible hours and 31% benefiting from an enhanced work-life balance. But that’s not to say they want it to last forever. At most, people want one or two days of working from home.

“The kind of interaction and opportunity of working directly alongside a more experienced team member will remain a major benefit of going into the office for those in the early stages of their career,” says Iain Franklin, Head of UK Consulting for Corporate Solutions at JLL.

“But it really comes down to that people want the human element of the office — the coffee chats and the collaboration that virtual tools can’t easily replace.”

“It’ll be a place where people like spending time, with more amenities, and that facilitates collaboration, innovation and creativity,” says Carroll. “COVID-19 has put a temporary hold on using such spaces successfully but they are firmly part of the office’s future.”

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