We still don’t know when London will return to normal, but things are looking far more positive now than a few months ago. One of the measures of normality will be the number of businesses that go back to working in the office, rather than 100% working from home (WFH) as it is at the moment. We believe there are 5 factors that will impact your ability to get the business back into the office..
At the time of writing, over 17 million have had one vaccination. Clive Dix, head of the organisation buying the vaccines, suggests every adult could have both jabs by August or September. Assuming this actually happens, this will be a key driver in getting people back into the office. For businesses that rely on commercial districts being busy, this will be a real boost to their fortunes. Sandwich and coffee shops, as well as pubs and hairdressers will all see an uplift in trade.
The conversation about being able to insist on your staff having the vaccination continues. Downing Street has expressed its opinion, saying you “may be able” to insist on new starters having the jab before they start work with you, but it is unlikely you can change the contracts for your current staff.
Very few people working for London businesses live very close to where they work. Getting people back to into the office will depend on how confident people are about commuting. We expect the government to say that face masks still have to be worn when we are on public transport for some time. The question is: how compliant will people be in wearing their marks properly (over both mouth and nose)? The more compliant people are, the faster confidence levels will increase and more people will be happy to travel.
If your staff aren’t confident about travelling without catching Covid-19, getting them back to the office will be difficult. Which leads nicely onto the next point…
The last year has proved that most businesses can operate effectively with staff working from home. However, we are a social species and we like to be able to talk to people face to face. Even being in the same room as others improves the mood, and indeed mental health, of many, many, people.
Allowing people to work either from home or in the office will further aid commuter confidence levels. It is also highly likely to improve employee loyalty.
If your business still has a server network in the office, you really should be considering a cloud-based network to improve flexibility for your teams. Give us a call if you would like to know more.
Social distancing is still going to be important, at least for the next 6 months. Ensuring your staff know that the office has been re-arranged to accommodate social distancing will increase confidence levels. If you’ re planning on returning to working in the office, you need to think carefully about this.
Our previous article on going back to the office (last summer) made a number of suggestions to manage social distancing.
Quality of IT
There may be one thing that drives people back to the office very quickly. If they have had a year of really poor IT, they may be begging to get back to the office. If you want to control how quickly people go back, then lets talk about just why their IT experience has been so bad. A good IT support company will deal with IT issues whether they are in the office or for people working remotely. Talk to you soon maybe?