As the number of cases across the globe continues to rise, changes made to accommodate the restrictions are likely to leave long term impact. Businesses that re-worked their processes are likely to subsume them into their standard processes. We assess the four trends at the workspace post COVID19. 

Check the Four workspace Trends that will stay forever post COVID 19

#1 Small office Spaces:

We tend to exaggerate the impact of change. As coworking spaces became popular many wondered if that symbolized the death of conventional offices. That did not happen, not thus far at least. However, the current pandemic has raised questions about the wisdom of investing in large offices.

SNEED-Coworking space in Bangalore

For long, corporate offices have been used as a symbol of success, investing heavily in design, decor and employee amenities. The race was to occupy the tallest tower or build the biggest campus.

While the need to have an office remains strong, future offices are unlikely to accommodate the entire workforce. Social interaction amongst employees is necessary to create strong bonds, and offices of the future will facilitate this, rather than be the centre from where people work.

Coworking spaces with their flexible work model may well emerge as the offices of the future and will be the future workspace trend that is here to stay for a long time.

#2 Work from Anywhere:

Work from Home is not new. Many companies, especially in the technology space, have been practising it for some time now. Employees have enjoyed the freedom of working at their pace and from the comfort of their homes. However, most corporates were sceptical of extending the scope beyond a few days a month.

working desk and table at home

The current situation has ensured that businesses have re-worked their processes to accommodate everyone to work from home. The era of everyone going back to their offices is undoubtedly over. 

Working from home is not easy for all employees alike, and therefore businesses are likely to adopt a work-from-anywhere culture. Some employees will upgrade their home offices while some others will prefer to work from collaborative spaces closer to home. Shared offices, cafes and other models will also emerge as corporates downsize their offices and adopt de-centralized work models. 

#3 Gig workers:

The other workspace Trend is Gig workers. As companies look to working from anywhere, concepts like work timings and monitoring will become moot, and the focus will shift to ensuring productive output. Employees working from remote locations will also complicate matters. 

The concept of gig workers has gained momentum over the last few years and will now accelerate. Corporates would opt to engage specialists on a case to case basis and on a project mode, doing away with the need to monitor and supervise regularly.

The increase in the number of gig workers or contingent employees in uncertain times also seems obvious as companies deal with pressure from investors and the business cycles turn negative. As with mitigating risk with contracted workspace, businesses will look to adopt, nimble and flexible models to staffing. 

Gartner predicts that 32% of organizations are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure.

#4 Technology & Automation:

Enabling remote workforces will need investment in technology and automation of many processes. The fear of repeated disruption will also force corporates to automated solutions requiring limited manual intervention. As Greg Nichols writes in Zdnet Digital transformation spending has been increasing dramatically year-over-year and topped $1 trillion last year. This trend will continue in the post-pandemic era. 

In the robotics space, which I cover, there are early indications that automation is winning a long-simmering PR fight because of the pandemic as companies ditch their “workers first” messaging and begin heralding automation as the way to fight disruptions that humans are subject to. That same attitude could be migrating to robotic processing automation and related AI/ML enterprise applications. – Zdnet