After COVID-19, everyone’s back to the office!

Not so fast, says new report – the way we work may have changed for good

After COVID-19, everyone’s back to the office!

Long after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, policies for managing distributed teams will likely remain – with most companies now growing ‘comfortable’ with their hybrid model of work.

Despite the challenges of telecommuting, 61% of C-level executives say their business continuity plans have enabled them to stay on top of their game even while operating remotely, findings from research firm ADAPT revealed.

The crisis has therefore changed everyone’s notion of modern work and shared workspaces, the study suggests.

READ MORE: Is your company shifting to remote work permanently?

In the near future, more than two in five tech workers (43%), for example, will be working off site at any given time. The rest will likely operate in a shared location or across multiple satellite offices.

Leading a distributed workforce then doesn’t just entail managing full-time WFH employees.

“Workers will be splitting their time between the office and home,” said Aparna Sundararajan, senior research strategist at ADAPT, speaking to The Australian Financial Review.

Most senior executives report having a hybrid model already in place – one which includes both remote work and office work. Seven in 10 leaders (69%) are ‘comfortable’ with this status quo.

READ MORE: Why remote work doesn’t work for everyone

Will this then lead to the end of the traditional office?

The physical office will be retrofit towards “more collaborative uses, such as cross-team meetings, brainstorming, fun activities and anything that requires connectedness,” Sundararajan said.

Experts also predict a shift in the design of office spaces will “reflect new requirements such as meeting booths, virtual reality-based communication tech and ideation zones”.

Senior executives, particularly those in IT, are stepping up to the challenge. Companies are investing in tools that support distributed teams – with the most important purchase being cloud-based apps.

“The most significant change within the tech stack has been the move to cloud – including private, public and hybrid workloads,” the experts said.

Half of C-level execs say their companies have increased their cloud workloads by more than 50% to equip their teams in the new normal.

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