The cultural shift towards remote working & downsizing office space
Over recent months the Storetec team have been extremely busy helping countless businesses transition to a digital way of working. From transferring electronic records to a secure document management system, to scanning old and dusty paper documents into a high-quality digital archive. It would seem businesses are now beginning to act on, and make, significant changes to the way they operate following the shift in employment culture, now geared towards remote working. Although government working from home advice has ended, many companies have allowed employees to continue working from home on a permanent basis while the coronavirus crisis is still ongoing. By downsizing, and in some cases getting rid of offices altogether, the idea that remote working will become ‘the normal’, is certainly beginning to feel a more permanent future for workers across the UK.
Research by Accumulate Capital has identified that 37% of decision-makers have said their business is planning to relocate to a smaller commercial space in the next year. Over half of respondents (58%) believe working from home will become the new normal following changes to the way businesses operate, demanded during the UK Coronavirus lockdown. As a result of the pandemic, businesses are clearly looking at office utilisation and ‘the normal way of working’ in a completely different light.
But the implications of remote working have the potential to affect more than just employee morale, consolidated office space and reduced rental costs. The reality is that home working will have a knock-on effect on office cleaners, security guards and public transport, as well as nearby cafes, coffee shops who rely on every day workers commuting to the office. Accountancy firm PwC has reported that home working could cost the UK economy up to £15.3bn a year due to such factors. Not to mention the obvious impact this will have on the property rental market as office space quickly becomes available throughout the UK’s largest cities.
A popular culture change?
BP are just one example of many multi-corporations planning on downsizing office locations throughout the UK. As one of the largest oilfield service providers, BP has financially suffered amid the oil price crash from the Coronavirus pandemic. As part of plans to cut 15% of its workforce, BP will also be implementing a more hybrid work style which includes an element of working from home and in the office.
In another example, Mark Zuckerberg said as many as 50% of Facebook employees could be working remotely within the next five to 10 years. Zuckerberg pitched the idea as both a matter of satisfying employee desires and also as an effort to create "more broad-based economic prosperity."
"When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives," Zuckerberg said on a live stream posted to his Facebook page.
A digital future
Effective records management is a major consideration for organisations downsizing office space. With more employees working from home, digital access to business documents is an absolute must. Furthermore, with less space available, employers are faced with the reality that there is no longer space available to store archived documentation to be retained for years to come. The solution is simple, a digital archive. By scanning documents into accessible PDF’s, employees can login to a central online system, accessing the records they require 24/7, without delay. Furthermore, employees can set up virtual meetings to collaborate and discuss records, or quickly send over annotated documents via email. The options are endless. Storetec also provides a secure storage solution for physical records if this option is preferred.