The future of the office

Untitled design 99 | The future of the office
By Toby Lester | 13th November 2020 | 8 min read

This year, the UK has undergone an unprecedented social experiment; thousands of offices closed across the country, leaving employees to set up shop in ‘home-made’ offices. Remote working is set to be our norm for the long term, with many large businesses announcing their intentions to remain closed until summer 2021.  

Office-based is fast becoming the ‘old way’ of working. So, what does this mean for the future of the office? 

We cannot predict the future. However, following nearly eight months of wide-spread closures, we’ve had plenty of time to investigate the impact of the remote working culture. 

The facts of working from home 

  • 67% of employers believe employees work to the same or a higher standard of work when working at home; in fact, two thirds of employees report increased productivity for remote workers in comparison to office workers 
  • 76% of workers say they are more productive in a home office due to reduced distractions 
  • 61% of people have left or have considered leaving a job due to a lack of work flexibility  
  • 77% of people say that home working has improved their overall health and wellbeing 

Will we go back to the office? 

All data points to a shift in perspective; the office is no longer the heart of the business. People are, and always have been, at the core of any organisation. Research suggests that a little flexibility goes a long way; when a workforce feels supported, engaged and trusted by their employers, they are far more likely to go above and beyond. 

Following months of remote working, the daily commute to and from the office feels obsolete. Physical assets such as laptop and computers are no longer tethered to the workplace – so why should employees be? The paperless office has long been considered the future; we live in a digital world and the cloud is the limit. 

Cloud software: the future of flexible working 

There is now a widespread acknowledgement that we no longer need to be in the same building as our colleagues to stay engaged. A digital paper trail of emails, data and documents enables teams to operate efficiently from home offices spread far and wide. 

Cloud architecture built to fit your needs enables 24/7 access to platforms and software. As we continue to battle local and national lockdowns, this level of flexibility is vital in planning for business continuity. 

There’s security in the cloud 

Live and reliable data should be at the fingertips of all HR teams, finance directors and managers. However, convenience and flexibility are only one half of the argument for cloud software. 

The cloud empowers not only data-driven decision making; any ICT or facilities professional will acknowledge the importance of up-to-date software and hardware in ensuring security around both physical and intangible assets.  

Your software should enable automatic updates to deliver on compliance and meet legislation, protecting your company and its data. Automated updates eliminate any requirement for employees to perform them manually on their machines and reduce time-consuming tasks for IT teams. IRIS software delivers on all your security and compliance requirements, without you needing to lift a finger (or click a button). 

Protecting digital data is vital but so, too, is protecting investments in physical assets. With employees working outside of the office walls, it’s important to keep track of equipment. Maintaining an overview of not only the location of laptops, computers and mobile phones, but the status and maintenance requirements of such items is also crucial. With a cloud-based asset management system, facilities teams can manage assets and support employees with IT related queries remotely. 

The truth is, flexible working was growing in popularity long before our hand was forced by COVID-19. In the wake of this years’ challenges, cloud-based software can support your organisation to adapt and grow, providing employees with the tools they need to drive efficiency at every turn.  

To find out how our portfolio of cloud payroll, cloud accounting and cloud HR software can support your business, get in touch