How we’ve all adapted to our working lives on lockdown and how the experience will affect our shared future has been speculated on a great deal in a relatively short time. Rather than speculate, we thought we’d find out through a survey and had a great response. Our respondents really helped us build and share a picture of what we’re all doing now and how that will shape a future vision of working environments, methods and lives.
The transition hasn’t been a seismic shock to many; the majority had worked from home to an extent and had the right technology to do their job well. MS Teams is proving particularly valuable alongside other collaboration tools such as Zoom, Hangouts, Slack. Some are little more old school using their trusty Skype calls to stay in touch. That need to regularly connect with colleagues on both a professional and human level has remained of daily importance for 78% of respondents.
While familiarity with remote working and being provided the right tools (86%) have been a plus, productivity has been affected for more than half (55%) of respondents, growing to close to two thirds (65%) of those performing the balancing act of full time work and childcare, including home schooling for some. While on the one hand, there is a real risk of mental and physical exhaustion for some, the counter to that is the redefinition of work/life balance, freedom from the commute and appreciation of the simple things such as eating together as a family. Also telling is that the most popular of new entertainment subscriptions has been Disney+!
Despite business and mainstream media talk of a ‘new normal’, more than two thirds (67%) believe that they will return to what was normal for them once restrictions are lifted. That said, 62% believe employers of all sizes will have to offer greater flexibility and remote working options. There is a sense of missing the structure provided by environments built for work, from chairs and workstations designed for purpose to connectivity and social interaction.
In summary, most are finding a way of getting through this and staying connected. There are clear learning points on the creation of dedicated remote working spaces away from the office to facilitate greater flexibility and productivity as well as support for working parents. There are also clear signals that as people, we do appreciate the office for what it provides; a support structure, social interaction and an environment built for purpose.
Thanks for reading and of course to those who took part. We’d love feedback on the above and to further compare experiences as we progress through this.