Have we uncovered a real change in the way we work?
We are all very aware of how our lives have changed since the lock down regulations were imposed. Some states and countries have more or less severe levels of lockdown and this has changed the way many of us work. Including us.
Last year we made the decision to sell our office in Southern Brisbane and move to a Co Working space in Brisbane City.
The decision was made after a full analysis of our needs and costs. Our first reaction was that costs would be higher, but after more financial analysis, right down to the consumption of toilet paper, the costs were comparative.
Businesses like us have to make these decisions with reference to the ongoing costs and benefits of the business.
As an IT business, most of our work is done on computers and we made a decision some time ago that all computers would be mobile, not for any other reason other than they take up less space and people can move around the office or go to meetings.
As we move into our 5th week of isolation, all of our staff are working remotely. We are blessed with dedicated staff who can accept the challenge of working this way.
There are some downsides – interaction face to face with fellow staff members is reduced, removing a little ease of communication. Team building is a bit harder, even sharing a birthday cake or a meal at lunchtime now not a thing.
Are we still working and getting the job done? A resounding yes, but it takes good time management skills and supervision.
As working from home is starting to feel more and more ok, there are benefits really emerging.
Everyone is saving a lot on travel, some as much as $100 a week. While fuel is at a 25 year low, you can’t really use much! Most spend an hour each way to work and this time is now their time.
We are all eating at home, saving more money.
The roads are quieter, the air is cleaner, some countries reporting that they can see mountains in the distance, lost to smog a month ago.
Some businesses like ours have been lucky to adapt to working from home. There are issues longer term, but maybe we will see the emergence of a hybrid work model with some staff staying home for a few days of the week, reducing their costs
Not all homes are well set up as workspaces, Bedrooms and smaller homes have limited space and compromises with interruptions and personal discipline is a challenge for some.
The R6 Digital Takeaway
We work in an 8 story building in the Brisbane CBD. It’s full of co-working spaces and today it’s a ghost town. As restrictions are eased, workers will return but we wonder how many at first and over the longer term will some businesses consider staggering working times for staff with some offering the capability to work from home more often?
We sense a change in the way we all work. We have been forced to isolate and come up with new ways of interacting with not only staff but our customers.
We have learned to have more video meetings and we discovered that they do actually work, we can still interact ok.
We discovered that parcels can be delivered to our doors, Big Macs can come by Uber at lunchtime and we can buy what we need online.
We knew these things before, but for many, we didn’t have any real reason to try them.
Now we have.
Many like what they see, like a bit more time in their day, like the cost-saving, and for them, could form part of a new work – home lifestyle.
Time will tell as isolation restrictions are removed. Who is looking forward to 90 minutes on the freeway or train to work?
Don’t be surprised if working from home becomes the norm for some. Business will adapt and we think a new way to work will evolve.
Is your business able to target Stay-at-home workers? Let R6 Digital craft a targeted Ad campaign that is responsive to reach out to these new stay at home customers.