The COVID-19 pandemic radically affects ideas on where and how people work best. A projected 50% of the South African workforce will work from home full-time in June 2021.
Before the Omicron variant hit the nation, it appeared that most of the South African businesses were about to come back to the office and had instituted two days back in the office each week, said Linda Trim. She is a director at Giant Leap, one of the most significant workplace design consultancies in South Africa.
“As it is visible that how new variants is developing in the whole country, it is difficult to face, and it is unpredictable to imagine life but the last two years taught us a lot, and our way of working is also changed as compared to two years back and relating to office have probably changed for good.
The Working Environment:
According to Trim, in 2022, offices will exist, but their purpose to serve will get changed.
“Instead of being a site where employees are required to report every day, offices will become corporate hubs designed to encourage creativity and collaboration while building team spirit.”
To support flexibility, functionality and employee well-being, South Africa introduced a new scheme that offices will no longer be a single location but an ecosystem of offices, homes and hired places like cafes and restaurants.
For example, Starbucks in the United States aims to embrace “hoteling,” with employees booking office space only when they need to cooperate with others, according to Trim.
The coffee giant aims to renovate its headquarters while its staff continue to work remotely:
Most private desks will be removed, and the excess space will be renovated to encourage collaboration and make it feel like a coffee shop. “Team-work, cooperation and networking and employees may face lack of ideas problem with in-person interaction will also be impacted after the pandemic.
Trim gave the example of Amazon that the company is investing $1.4 billion into offices outside of Seattle, including in cities like Dallas, Detroit, and Phoenix.
“A more spread crew will allow firms to hire people from a wider range of backgrounds, locations and experiences,” Trim said.
Development of businesses gives opportunity to the employees to divide their time between their home and the office, rather than just working on the screen, she said.
According to the Trim, “If we avoid further lockdowns, it might be possible that the workers of South Africa will come office two to three times a week.” But it may be effective on the demand of offices.