Is the Work From Home Setup a Long-term Solution?

These are unprecedented times. In the shadow of the pandemic, it’s a year of momentous change – most aspects of life have fundamentally shifted, and nowhere more significantly than in the area of our livelihood.

It’s a new arena for business, in the ways we undergo day-to-day, and in the way we interact with each other, our clients, and our suppliers.

But even though this ‘new normal’ may be presenting somewhat of an unsettling change, this may just be the best time for it. Our hyperconnected world has allowed us a shift into the world of remote working that’s been largely seamless. Globally, what we’ve all now witnessed, is that for the most part, a work-from-home state is possible. Collaboration tools, options in connectivity, and the availability of all types of remote infrastructures have all brought to light a sobering realisation for global business – the traditional brick and mortar office, and the overhead commitment tacked to it, could be a thing of the past.

However, just as swiftly as things changed at the dawn of lockdowns around the world, so too has the next evolution in the work-from-home state. For as said lockdowns now ease, an almost hybrid form of remote working looks set to be the real future state of business – the flexible work situation.

But for now, as fixed offices become null, working from home might be the directive – attractive in its cost-effectiveness.

However, two fundamental needs remain for businesses – needs that may not be satiated with an entirely work-from-home state. The question then: is a work-from-home future sustainable?

The Work From Home Problem

As mentioned, we’re lucky enough to be part of a hyperconnected society. Our ‘always on’ state means that we can, in most cases, be on the grid all day, every day. This owing to the fact of readily available data permeating most modern populaces.

However, data is still a pricey commodity in South Africa, and although many can maintain that hyper-connectedness on a personal scale, this may not translate to a workspace. A business that wants to go entirely remote, must take into consideration the availability of resources for employees, ensuring they have the assets and infrastructure needed to be able to continue to work from home.

A Human Connection

The lucky ones were pleasantly surprised when their businesses went remote and didn’t skip a beat. However, many employees working remotely in lockdown have noticed a fundamental shift in their mental state.

This could be due to a lack of human interaction.

Suddenly, those who usually thrive on working in a collaborative manner have found themselves struggling in the absence of a fundamental human connection. And that struggle, in many cases, has manifested in a marked lack of productivity, as well as in increased mental health issues, like depression.

For many, as their desk space, their office, their very routine was snatched from them, a profound sense of emptiness and absence of purpose made their working state significantly more difficult to deal with.

If work from home sustainability were to become routine, it would have to be with the mental and physical health of a business’s workforce as priority.

The Hybrid Solution

The way of the future may very well be the hybrid solution – the flexible availability of a shared office space, alongside the work from home state, and the option for employees to choose, on a given day, between both. Two major predicaments would still exist:

  • There would still be the expensive overheads of rented office space.
  • There would still be the requirement for a business to commit to long-term leases.

A shared office space solves the issue of resources – each will have the infrastructure and connectivity an established office would have, into which a tenant business may simply integrate.

And more importantly, the opportunity for employees to connect with colleagues, collaborate and align so that culture may be re-established, would once again be readily available – ensuring mental wellbeing for those that need the human connection.

At FutureSpace, we offer a suite of office space and shared office solutions in Johannesburg to ensure your work-from-home capabilities never falter.