The corporate sector was pinning hopes on a sharp V-shape recovery – prompting a quick migration back to offices and back to ‘business as usual’ – but with the economy still reeling from the impact of COVID-19, economists are now predicting a protracted ‘U’ shaped recovery, with stagnant growth for most of 2020 and gradual pick-up from 2021. Coupled with the fact that the COVID-19 vaccine is still months away from being readily available, many people are in no hurry to rush back to the office and we can expect some level of remote working to continue.
However, with companies locked into tenancies, and many managers still perceiving the home environment as having many distractions and productivity affecting elements, the crisis is likely to force office spaces themselves to change and adapt, rather than entire offices going out of vogue.
Companies will need to be more flexible and understanding and move towards adopting a hybrid model that is a combination of physical office plus remote working. With leading companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft saying they are implementing remote working policies, even after the pandemic ends, we are already seeing a transition towards a hybrid model.