What does the future of the UK office look like?

It is an interesting time in the UK business world with more people than ever working from home due to the pandemic but now an easing of the lockdown, meaning that businesses now have an important decision to make.

The general consensus seems to be that working from home has been successful in most industries and many companies were already using remote working prior to the pandemic, so what does this mean for UK offices?

Benefits of Remote Work

There are clear benefits to people working from home from both an employee and business standpoint. For employees, it provides a greater work-life balance, there is no commute which can be stressful and expensive and people can often work better from home. This is also beneficial from a business standpoint, plus businesses can make huge savings by having a remote workforce as it lowers utility bills and eliminates the need to own large office spaces.

The New Norm

The boss of Barclay’s recently stated that “the notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past” which is true, especially when you consider that there are still concerns over the virus in the time being and any business that brings employees back will need to find a way to implement social distancing. For those that have found that productivity has not dipped, it is easy to see remote working being the new norm but there may still be some that want people to come into the office occasionally.

Office Work

While there are perks to remote working, there are also perks to people working in the office so many businesses may still encourage staff to come in occasionally.  In this situation, businesses will need to make sure that they can implement social distancing so it might involve having half the workforce coming in on one day and the other half on another. There could also be a reversal in the open office trend with a move back to cubicles at least until a vaccine is found.

New Businesses

Of course, it is also likely that many people will be made redundant in the wake of COVID-19 with a recession on the horizon. This is likely to see a rise in people starting their own businesses which could be run from home, but those that are made redundant will also need to rearrange their finances and get their affairs in order, which might involve speaking to a specialist about inheritance tax.

It will be interesting to see how businesses react with the softening of lockdown as life starts to return to normal. It seems that in many cases, businesses will continue with remote working because it can bring so many benefits to all parties and help businesses to free up cash in what is sure to be a challenging period ahead.