The way we all work has changed significantly both during and after the recent pandemic, and one of the biggest changes has been the manner in which companies now view the office space. There has been a marked reduction in the number of new offices and in businesses using facilities and commercial spaces as they did prior to the pandemic. The trend has been for more innovative and cost-effective ways of using the office and commercial facilities. This article looks at how the new normal way of work will forever change the office as we knew it.
The new normal way of work
There are now more people working from home or remotely than at any other time in the history of work. There are so many new variants of work, and ways to describe it, from remote, to hybrid, to flexible work, and many more. The result is that there are simply fewer people in offices and using commercial facilities. Office workers now want the flexibility that was insisted upon during the pandemic and proven to be just as good at maintaining and improving productivity. The argument is that if it worked during the pandemic, then it should continue, especially as it provides for a better work-life balance for the flexi/hybrid worker.
However, one of the unforeseen changes has been the rise in hot-desking, rubber desking, and shared office spaces. Businesses looking to save money now look to share office spaces, reduce their overheads and perhaps even just pay or rent space as and when they need it. They use the virtual or online office or space to conduct the majority of their business. This then requires a different means of managing these facilities and cleaning these spaces.
Office and facilities management
Cleaning, maintenance and hygiene are all still serious issues and have actually become more pressing as the way we work has changed. If there are more people sharing facilities, then the health risk is increased, and the level of management and care needs to be increased accordingly. There has been an increase in the use of professional facilities management software as you now need to ensure that all those who use the building or facility are able to do so with this new way of working in mind. Cleaning may need to be more regular, as will replenishment. Even though you may have overall fewer people in the space, those who are share resources in their own separate ways.
The new way of working and the flexibility that have emerged in the use of offices, commercial space and facilities means there will need to be an associated change in the mindset around how we provide such spaces and how they are maintained and cleaned. There may be fewer people going into the office on a daily basis, but their more flexible coming and going can sometimes be more difficult to manage and control.