British Industry Leaders Discuss Workplace Design, Post-Pandemic
Offices around the world have been largely empty ever since the coronavirus first struck yet as the COVID-19 vaccination programme is rolled out and the rate of coronavirus infection drops, the likelihood is that there will be a transition from remote to hybrid and on-site work.
At the beginning of March, members of The Value Exchange [TVeX], an established cross industry “vendor free” peer to peer community, met to discuss their individual plans to support their employees and ensure their safety as they return to work.
Chaired by Brad Day, co-founder of pioneering London-based tech firm, CloudStratex, the meeting was held under the Chatham House Rule and attended by around 35 technology leaders from the UK’s foremost blue-chip companies, from industries that included Banking, Insurance, Asset Management , Pharmaceuticals, Recruitment and Government. The purpose of which considered how employee wellbeing and productivity could be maximised through office design, organisational policies, and hybrid remote working models.
From the beginning there was a consensus that employees valued hybrid working and were keen for it to continue but also felt the office environment played an important role in networking and collaboration. Therefore, it was important to ensure that working conditions were in place to best support their needs and that of their employers. Typically this resulted in a redesign of office space to accommodate additional meeting rooms and social spaces, as well as greater investment in conference technology and hardware to ensure remote working was unhindered.
It was also clear that the majority of attendees did not have a clear time frame when employees might return to the office or in what capacity and where instead focussed on adaption to the “new normal” so as to ensure business continuity.
While no significant problems were raised relating to employee performance due to hybrid working, certain technology concerns were raised that needed to be considered and addressed. These encompassed latency change problems that inhibited dialogue, as well as connectivity challenges and operational integration issues with digital software.
Other key discussion points included: • Support process changes organisations have put in place in a growing work from home population • Ensuring health and safety through contact tracing, sensors and room booking applications • Maintaining the highest standards of security and compliance for remote workers • Procurement of remote working hardware such as laptops
Reflecting on the insights delivered through the peer-to-peer discussion, Brad Day said: “TVeX provides its high-profile members the platform to openly share their experiences and common pain points on a range of business issues in a “badges off” environment. The discussion included Technology, HR and Facilities and the interdependencies between these functions.
Many of our members are thought leaders in their respective organisations and industries so it is fantastic to see them speak openly about their approach to hybrid working and the return to the office, post-pandemic. I am delighted by the role TVeX has to play in this by facilitating an environment where UK plc can work together in the spirt of co-operation, to discuss mutual challenges and provide supportive insights and advice in real time.“
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Ford .
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