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I agree. Like most things you will probably see a hybrid approach with people splitting their time between working remotely from home and from an organizations office be it a local/regional office or a head office.
This approach could actually lead people to working more hours and longer days than one or the other approach.
Ultimately people will find the environment were they are the most productive and use that for work purposes.
I do not think organization will ever have a 100% remote worker policy as a head office and having a physical presence is it important for an organization to maintain its image and strengthen its brand.
A lot of organizations use their offices as a show of strength, continuity and purpose. No different to days of building large castles and palaces to display power and wealth.
It will probably lead to permanent change in a lot of areas and policies. In the US, there is an expression, "How are you going to keep them down on the farm now that they've seen Paree?".
The expression refers to the exposure of a young generation of Americans who fought in World War One in France. Many of the American soldiers were from rural areas and had never experienced the social and technological differences of city life as compared to their small town upbringing.
Once those young men had experienced city life, they were forever changed. Some wanted that lifestyle, and moved toward urban lifestyle. Of course, not everyone. 'To each, his own.' is another American expression. Some businesses and people will retain the older (proven) work environment. Others will note that remote work succeeded when it was needed, and thus is viable moving forward.
This is were the modern office layout has changed and evolved in recent times. As more and more people are being asked to work from home, office space and sizes are shrinking and now open planned offices are more large rooms that use hot desking, wireless LAN that use cloud technologies from an IT shared services provider, Network printing (if available), and communal kitchens, toilets, meeting rooms, reception areas and lobby.
It is very much the mobile office with nothing nailed down and everything transient. This is the current trend and I do not see this trend ending anytime soon.
Businesses will definitely need to re-evaluate their remote working policies after the situation stabilizes. Some teams may prove that they can work remotely and be just as effective, and their organizations will have to ask whether the expense of their local office space is still justified. I suspect there will be many teams that return to the office, because co-located teams are more efficient, but perhaps they'll have more flexible policies about working remote and more effective working agreements when team members can't commute.
One thing that's often overlooked, especially for those of us in the IT industrial bubble, is that many, many people don't have an option to work remote.
This pandemic has opened the eyes of many companies to realize what level of work they can & can't perform virtually. It certainly will benefit some of the workforce to have this option (single mother/fathers, etc.) who would greatly benefit from a work-from-home (WFH) option. Companies will have to adapt their polices, but I believe this pandemic will steer a lot more companies to offer a WFH option after this situation is over. It benefits the workforce with having their homelife, and it benefits the company’s cost-cutting efforts. However, I think companies would struggle to get the team bonding that they would have in a F2F work environment. It is not always about the work, that camaraderie...the joking, laughing, etc. really helps cement the trust and friendship of the team, which leads to a higher functioning team. The real test will be if the output of the remote workforce is similar or will the companies see a decline in productivity? I guess it would vary on the company & type of work.
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