With the re-analysis of workplace policies and design in the post COVID-19 world, most clients will be asking what the new normal is and how the return to work will look? We know any conclusion will be subject to a lot of opinion and situational considerations, however one thing that’s evident is that for business to continue through the pandemic they must have adopted agile working policies regardless of their preferred working practices.
Does this mean that agile working is the new normal and a standard expected at any organisation? We think so, and when you look at examples of other nations who have adopted these policies into their working culture we can see striking correlations. For example, it was only after the financial crash that the Netherlands embraced dynamic ways of working as the answer to the problems they faced. The crisis led them to re-visit their approach and consider what would work for them in both the short and long terms. Now as one of the countries leading the use of agile working they’re continuing to develop it further and are seeing the benefits. The parallels between this and the UK’s current current situation are hard to ignore.
Prior to COVID-19 we know from experience clients were already moving towards these solutions and agile ways of working. So when you consider that we’ve worked with clients who have already reduced overall CRE footprints by 40% or seen return on investment in their agile working programme five times faster than planned, the new normal at the very least must include a fresh look at any organisation’s workplace strategies.
One of the biggest hurdles that agile working had to overcome was user push-back. This reluctance to embrace change could be due to a variety of factors – fear of the unknown for example – but it’s clear that due to COVID-19 this has been turned on its head. In this climate, people’s ability to change and continue to work are demonstrating the value of agile working in maintaining business as usual. Now, the curtain cannot be pulled back. Previous issues of technology restriction, business function, culture or perceived team requirements have been addressed. Where business critical user requirements have been met, businesses should now be prepared for agile working.
Some questions remain. With a return to work on the horizon, are our workplaces agile ready? Are the current workplace technologies flexible enough to meet agile working demands? Of course there are concerns for day one of the return, but there is also a significant opportunity for long-term commercial real-estate (CRE) and workplace policies to drive workplaces into the future. With new practices and technologies delivering savings, while also enhancing user experience and engagement.
The inefficiencies of traditional workspaces and storage solutions have become apparent. We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of clients engaging with us to discuss our smart lockers and storage, to understand full range of applications along with their capabilities and benefits. There’s particular interest in touch-free storage solutions. The post COVID-19 workplace is subject to a lot of conjecture, but what we do know is that flexible, smart solutions that can deliver insights and be adapted to suit changing requirements have become of paramount importance, to ensure any space is always fit for purpose.
Contact us about how smart lockers can support your new agile workplace.
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