Roy Gilbert

Home-office, HQ, hybrid or work-from-anywhere? This is what businesses are planning

www.weforum.org

The office: work hub or second home? As vaccination programmes are rolled out, businesses are starting to redefine the future for their office workers.

Experiences of remote work diverge depending on personal situations – such as space, childcare responsibilities, the nature of the job and individual temperament.

The reinvention of the office and a new hybrid work model could address social gaps and provide a more inclusive recovery for all.

There is a global debate raging about the future of the office. The pandemic has seen office working life upended for the world’s 1.25 billion “knowledge workers ”: those people who have spent much of the past 18 months at home in front of a screen.

So as vaccination programmes are rolled out, and economies in some countries are able to reopen, businesses are starting to redefine the future for their office workers.

The context is that in 2020, the global workforce lost an equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs, an estimated $3.7 trillion in wages and 4.4% of global GDP. Remote work has only been available to a largely well-paid minority. The emptying of offices, however, has left city centres deserted, with profound impacts on urban economies .

Businesses that serve office workers – the cafes, dry-cleaners and sandwich shops – have been grounded. There are big questions about the future of urban mobility as commuters have stayed at home. Residential and commercial rents in urban centre have been dropping, and consumption patterns are changing – sales of home office […]

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