3 Pandemic Lessons Offices Learnt For Future Use

3 Pandemic Lessons Offices Learnt For Future Use

The current pandemic situation has provided a reset in the way offices operate. Most believe there’s no going back to what was. It is clear the last eighteen months have forced a drastic reset of work, home and all points in between. The upheaval in commercial real estate has forced some companies to be pickier about their needs, from operable windows to lower employee-to-bathroom ratios.

In May, Australia’s biggest office landlord said new tenants want larger offices for fewer people but with significantly more collaborative space to encourage creativity, innovation and culture. “What’s happening now is that those businesses re-signing leases are reworking their office spaces to create more collaboration spaces.

Here are 3 pandemic lessons Covid-19 has thought companies to survive the future:

  1. Culture could be fostered via technology when people are in disparate locations:

Post-pandemic offices will focus more singularly on creating and representing the culture of a company. That mission will drive physical spaces with more breakout rooms and gathering spots. It will dictate who comes to the office and why. Reasons to convene onboarding, training, meetings, team-building and collaboration.

Ian Narev, the chief executive of online recruiter Seek, said a lot of discussions about this has been on for a number of months. “Like every company, we feel that the culture we have is special and the way people interact in the office is part of that.

“We all know that having people together is really important. But if you’ve got multinational companies, the whole idea of ‘let’s all get into the office’ is completely inconsistent with your geographic footprint. “So this [remote working through COVID-19] has been very helpful because it’s actually given us the opportunity to say you can build great team cultures with people not seeing each other very often.”

2. Working nine to five, five days a week, Monday to Friday is probably dead:

Mr Narev said the best option for Seek, which has offices in several countries, was to run a remote and office working in tandem, but the company had not decided how it would look longer term.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp acknowledged the CBD would never be the same. She said workers were returning to the Melbourne CBD, but concerns over the use of public transport lingered, inhibiting the city’s revival. However, Mr Steinberg said CBD office leasing trends across Australia had been positive, with a 30 per cent increase in demand in the 10 months to the end of April.

3. Businesses are realising they need to be located in the cities to attract talent:

Mr Steinberg said many organisations were moving from the suburbs to be near customers and the “talent” required to run a successful business. “The whole rationale is that the talent we all need to grow our companies still wants to live, work and play in the cities,” he said. “Now as people are getting back to work, businesses are realising they need to be located in the cities to attract talent.

“I sit here today a lot more comfortable about the future of offices and a lot more comfortable about the future of CBDs seeing these local companies, small and large, taking on space and getting on with business.”


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