The post-Covid office: is a hybrid solution the way forward?

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Ben Brockbank

7th July 2021

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The world is finally starting to see a light at the end of the Covid infested tunnel. Companies in most parts of Europe are aiming to repopulate offices in autumn. This raises the question: Do people even want to go back to the office? Studies show that about two thirds are more than hesitant to do so. The overwhelming majority is leaning towards the implementation of a hybrid solution, where employees are able to work from home and in the office based on their preference. According to the staffing company Randstad, 88% of people who are currently working remotely wish to continue to work remotely at least 1 day a week.

Most people have come to the conclusion that working solely from home has significant limitations, both personally and professionally. However, according to a study conducted by Miro, almost half of the employees living with a partner said that their relationship improved and 62% of parents said that their relationship with their children improved. This can be (partly) attributed to the decrease in commuting, leaving more time to spend with family during the work day.

WFH has had a critical and in some cases detrimental impact on employees and general company culture. Although hard to quantify Covid’s effects on the aforementioned matters, a strong company culture and motivated, passionate team is imperative for a company’s efficiency – think of for example employee retention, satisfaction and productivity. This has been proven to be challenging to achieve through virtual meetings, and many employees are missing their daily “coffee machine chats”.

What does the future hold in terms of working conditions? Based on data and research conducted, a hybrid solution of partly WFH and office work suggests the highest level of employee satisfaction. Having employees in the office a couple days a week would allow companies to maintain their company culture and (re)strengthen interpersonal relationships. One thing is certain: companies and employees will not return to the pre-Covid working conditions.

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