How business and the workplace is changing
There’s no going back from here. COVID-19 has had a transformative impact on UK organisations, with 91% saying it will change the way they do business forever1.
It’s forced us to examine what we truly value, and what we’d rather leave behind. It’s given us a chance to build back stronger and better, to imagine new ways of living and working. And it’s brought rifts and inequalities in society into sharp focus, renewing our determination to tackle them.
Our world will never be quite the same again. So we take a look at the future of work, industry and society and how we can build back better.
Being away from the office long term has opened up our eyes to new possibilities for how we work. That’s driving a major shift in expectations for the future.
It’s essential for businesses to align with these views to create a sustainable working culture. New research from O2 Business shows how. It reveals how leaders can drive improved levels of productivity by better understanding how attitudes to work are changing.
We surveyed thousands of employees to discover what factors affect their productivity, morale and wellbeing. And how employers can set them up for success. The report also includes perspectives from Hitachi Capital, Saint-Gobain, NHS England, RNIB, and senior leaders at O2 Business.
The traditional office, the 9–5 and the commute all look set to become things of the past. During lockdown, employees showed that they could work just as productively from home – even if, for many, it involved gruelling schedules of work, childcare and home schooling.
Employers who thought that ‘working from home’ actually meant ‘shirking from home’ were proved wrong. Many were astounded at the ease with which their teams adjusted to remote working and delighted to find that productivity levels improved, and goals were met faster.
When COVID-19 struck, a leisurely stroll towards digital transformation turned into a sprint. Plans for automation and digitalisation were accelerated by years, as companies sought to minimise physical contact and equip remote workers with the right tech to keep working and serving customers.
The resulting transformations are likely to remain permanent, with a raft of new technologies that could change the way work is done.
When we talk about building back better, we’re not talking about short-term fixes.
The pandemic has created an opportunity to think about how we can drive sustainable change for future generations, addressing critical issues of climate change, social equality, and diversity and inclusion.