“Companies around the world are acknowledging that work is not where we go, it’s what we do. Where and when work gets done will be determined by what makes the most sense to drive the highest levels of productivity and engagement. This has important implications for the new world of work, ranging from issues such as company culture, inclusion, and seeking employees with traits beyond job-specific skills.”
Bert Miller, President and CEO, MRINetwork
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Companies around the world are currently engaged in a delicate balancing act as they transition from crisis-mode to preparing and executing, plans for the future of work. Organisations are having to get this balance right across Europe as countries come out of local lockdowns at varying speeds; offices in Germany and the Netherlands have reopened much earlier than the UK, for example.
According to a recent European Occupier Survey conducted by CBRE, a global provider of real estate services, 93% of occupiers of office space indicated that remote working will increase in the coming years, but this will not necessarily be as a replacement for office space. “Fluidity will come in the form of working from a variety of locations (from home, to headquarters, to flex office to coffee shop) reflecting the diversity of tasks and the preferences of employees,” notes the report. “For example, at aggregate European level, the proportion of the workforce working from home ‘sometimes’ has risen from 6% to 9% over a 10-year period. This is not a uniform trend; in Germany this proportion has declined with workers shifting from working from home ‘sometimes’ to ‘usually’ in increasing numbers, the opposite to what we have seen in France. The UK has been the most fluid of these countries, with over a fifth of employees working from home ‘sometimes’ over the decade.”
Both working from home ‘sometimes’ and ‘usually’ mean that most employees go to an office much of the time. There will be a subtle acceleration of the trend towards greater provision and focus of wellbeing measures in the workplace over the next 12 months. This will begin with a review of workplace density, cited by 46% of European occupiers in CBRE’s survey, but will extend beyond this, including the continuation of health and safety elements enforced by the pandemic such as enhanced cleaning and observation of social distancing, as well as investments in touch-free technology and mental health and wellbeing programmes. Occupiers are trying to create great workplaces that attract, retain and engage the best talent across markets.
The outlook for at least the next 12 months suggests that the temporary forced mass remote working pilot will help accelerate the trend of fluid working, rather than lead to a wholesale structural shift in such a short-period of time.
Job losses across Asia-Pacific could double due to coronavirus — and some of these jobs may not come back for a while, S&P Global warned, as reported by CNBC. “Unemployment rates across Asia-Pacific could rise by well over 3 percentage points, twice as large