I am continually hearing that we are living in unprecedented times. This is certainly true. As we all made a resolutions at the start of a new decade, no-one would have thought we would be dealing with a global pandemic and lockdown as the daffodils just started to show.
Not only is this unprecedented, the situation is uncertain. One certainty we have is that we must adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. As a creature of habit, I am not a fan of change and I embrace my routine. Every morning I have my coffee in “my” mug, get ready for work and head to the office. Confronted with “WFH” I felt myself starting to panic ‑ even the acronym bothered me!
Nearly a week in and I’m realising this is not so bad. I am putting new routines in place and I can still work productively and effectively (if not ergonomically) from home. Change can be a good thing and we will certainly have to get used to more of it.
When this is over (whenever that might be) we will need to adapt to a new normal. During the second world war, women were called to work in factories and jobs that they never would have been considered for before, whilst their male counterparts fought on the front. After that upheaval a great many of those women wanted to stay in the workplace and perhaps without this we would not be where we are now with gender equality.
I firmly believe that there will still be a place for offices and office workers at the end of this. We are after all social creatures and whilst “virtual” office drinks on a Friday is novel it does not quite replace that camaraderie of being next to someone all day. Perhaps the need for office space will be less but maybe what we will need will be more flexible spaces with breakout areas and more “hot” desking.
We may well also adapt our shopping habits even further to the online model needing more warehousing space. Finally, as we realise how dependent our supply chain is on workers across the world, maybe we will bring industry and manufacture closer to home – leading to an increase in the need for industrial space.
We do not know what the future holds but we will adapt and in the meantime, we’re in for an interesting ride!