We can admit to being tempted by the concept of the pub desk this week, with the idea of not working from home now taking on an air of excitement! How quickly we adjusted to the ‘new normal’.
With reduction in office estate, such as Capita’s announcement this week that a third of its offices are closing permanently, it’s clear that businesses see the change in how we work as a permanent one and are making big, decisive changes. Capita coupled their announcement with a commitment to ensuring that remaining or future work locations will be in the hearts of communities. This cements a growing trend that businesses see the future as one where your company premises is only one of the multiple places you’ll work from, this is a quiet revolution which will remain long after the impact of Covid 19 has passed.
At the heart of this revolution is a major change to our collective concept of the workplace – we know our employees don’t need to be in the office, so we now need to make our workplaces an attractive option for our employees to choose to work from. Workplaces will be collaboration spaces, places where we meet our customers or where we house and work on specialist equipment and a place that can benefit the whole community ecosystem around it. One thing is for sure though it won’t be enough to just have the office as a place we will be required to sit at a desk and work independently on a PC/laptop day to day.
And if we aren’t just keeping our workplaces for desk permanent employees, we’ll change the size and permanence of our offices and we certainly won’t be using them as places to just keep our stuff. So, we’ll be moving anything that doesn’t need to be there out of the permanent workplace – and IT and communication equipment will be the first things we’ll declutter from our workspaces. The economies and flexibility related to doing so will become more and more compelling.
Infrastructure to support this has proven itself through the pandemic – colocation data centres, telecommunications services, cloud and software services have all allowed us to transform our working practices – and have done so to meet the capacity and reliability we’ve needed, and at a pace no-one anticipated.
This quiet revolution will have big effects on infrastructure; we’ll see organisations accelerate their whole hybrid cloud journey, making decisions at pace; those that can’t immediately replace equipment will house it in data centres, organisations will embrace SaaS solutions at pace, and where applications cant be replaced with SaaS organisations, they will host them into public and private clouds rather than on premise. At the heart of every decision that comes up will be “Does this need me to give it a home?” and the answer will most commonly be “no”.
So, while the desire of working at a pub might be just a short term whim, the move to hosting infrastructure outside of our work premises so we can work from the pub (or anywhere else for that matter) if we want, will be a permanent one.