The pandemic changed the ways we work, and where we work while connecting us through modern technologies. It became necessary for everyone to be flexible, adapt to uncertainty, and adopt new ways of working. Remote work started as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and social distancing policies but quickly transformed into a possible long-term approach to the workplace.
According to a recent Great Place to Work® survey, “words such as ‘hybrid,’ ‘flexibility,’ and ‘remote’ were mentioned by more than 53,000 employees when asked what they like about their workplace or what could make their workplace better.” Employees prefer to work comfortably in their own space than in a crowded office, post-pandemic.
The pandemic taught us the physical space in which we work does not matter, as remote work gives employees the freedom to make decisions that increase their productivity, resulting in better overall health, well-being, and success. Many employees wish to work from home at least once per week. It also gives employees the opportunity to learn new skills related to technology, collaboration, and communication. Some might even assume a company with a hybrid work model is more employee-friendly than one requiring in-person work. The goal is to avoid having employees sit in a cubicle, thinking to themself, “I could be doing this at home.”
“The Great Resignation” hit a peak during the pandemic, as some employees decided work is not the most important aspect of their lives. We are now seeing ‘quiet quitting’ trends emerge as the next issue leaders are facing.
Quiet quitters tend to be burnt out or overall dissatisfied which leads them to put in as little effort as possible, just to keep their paychecks. The expectation to constantly be online with the rise of workplace technology stemming from the pandemic is one of the major factors of quiet quitting. The work-life balance disappears when an employee is expected to always be online, and employees don’t get the same freedom to pursue other endeavors outside of their workplace.
Hybrid and remote work challenged the ways in which facility managers operate, regarding space management, utility consumption, and security. Now, with the added challenges of quiet quitting, leaders must consider workplace happiness as a new concept.
With fewer people in the building and in the office, an opportunity to reduce operating costs arises. Facilities managers should reexamine their office square footage, reducing the size of the office or redesigning the space to reflect the number of employees that are regularly on site. These changes should support team collaboration and company gatherings while still having quiet spaces for individuals to focus.
Hybrid workplaces have an emphasis on smart energy use, as areas in the workplace cannot be seen as being used to full capacity. Adding motion sensors in non-work areas, such as restrooms, and staircases, as well as communal areas and meeting rooms, gives your organization an opportunity to become ESG-friendly. Your energy usage should mirror your building’s occupancy.
Security issues are also a concern of hybrid work. Determining who will be in the office at what time is unknown. To ensure greater security, control measures need to be tightened to protect data. Also, data security should be considered when purchasing desk booking tools and other equipment.
The way organizations plan and use their workspace has changed. Facility managers should implement space optimization software to see insights, analytics, and performance metrics on space-related issues. With a space optimization software in place, corporate real estate leaders can monitor and track the demand for room and desk usage, in relation to the physical space.
RefineRE’s data and analytics software helps facilities managers tackle some of their most pressing challenges by making data-driven decisions through benchmarking, workplace, and ESG modules. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation call and learn how RefineRE’s Business Intelligence Suite can help you navigate the post-pandemic workplace.