This article is translated from Norwegian and was originally published here.
For many employees, it will optimal to have the option to decide when to work from home and when to work from the office. Working from home may work well for some, however, it is not optimal for everyone.
One is whether we will be able to utilize the office space that already exists, rather than build new office buildings that are not needed.
In the span of one week, buildings change from being almost empty to completely crowded. It forces companies to either rent more office space to handle the peaks or live with capacity issues.
Basically, there is a large surplus of space. It is estimated that half of all commercial property is unused at any given time (JJL: Occupancy planning trend report 2020). Because this surplus is not available to anyone else, it will be necessary to continue building more to meet demands.
We also need to look at whether property owners who rent out office space are ready to renew their business models. Today, the rental market is characterized by long and inflexible leases that do not reflect a constantly changing work/business life.
Lastly, it is important that employers give employees the confidence to work more outside the office, even after the pandemic is a chapter in the past. Research shows that we do not become less productive by working away from the office, as long as we work smart and have tools for collaboration.
Imagine that ten years from now, we think back to the time when companies used to mobilize hundreds of employees to work from the same physical location. Regardless of role, function, or itinerary, everyone should show up and work from the same address.
Just as we realized during the Industrial Revolution that we had to use water, steam, and coal to mechanize production, we may eventually realize that we depend on flexibility, accountability, and trust to facilitate productive and satisfied knowledge staff.