My office is looking at options. I lead one department of 5 people in an office with a couple of dozen departments and 250 desks. After paying for empty space for 25 months, we have started to return to the office. People were asked how many days a week they wanted to be in the office, and how many days they wished to work remotely. The average in office is two days a week. Only a handful of people have elected to be in 4 or 5 days a week. (We have a core of 4 people who cover the front desk, mail, and operations who have to be in 4 days a week - they worked through the pandemic.) Fridays are a ghost town, typically less than 10% of the staff are in.
In a managers meeting recently we were asked how many people wanted to return to the office full time, and not one hand in the meeting went up. This was followed by a request for a careful analysis of how much office space we need to meet the new normal of office use.
In my little department we are paying for 20 desk days per week, (we have fewer desks than people, one of my staffers was hired as a full time remote) and we are using 9 desk days per week. Simple math - we are paying for more than twice as much office space as we are using.
Efficiency requires a major change. Sharing desks, sharing offices. One model is my department pays for and uses five desks on Monday and Tuesday, another department pays for them and uses them on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday - we both pay for and anyone who wants to use them probably can, 90% of our office space is empty on Friday, if you want the big corner office with the sofas, it is probably empty on Friday. Please don't raid the bar.
When I think about it, my office is wherever my office laptop computer is. Our current phone system allows me to forward my extension to any phone on the system, we are buying a new phone system that will tie our phones to our laptops. Eliminating that box on the desk we think of as a phone. I am looking forward to hearing the screams when the desk phones are removed later this year.
I have been working in offices since 1979. Traditional offices and desks, my office is filled with my stuff. So this will require a change. Working cleaner, making the personal stuff more portable. (I have a neat scales of justice clock in my office I will need to find a new home for.)
I am very open to the change. My colleagues are a little mixed, mostly a fear of change, a loss of identity in their space. There are a couple of departments that are massively opposed. They are not saying they want to be in 5 days a week, but they don't want to desk share, they want "THEIR DESK" to be empty when they are not there.
My desk, my 106 sq. ft. office (a little less than 10 sq. metres) costs us about $30,000 per year for rent, utilities, common space, and cleaning. And I am using half of that. Multiply that by five staff people, and we are spending a lot of money, on space we are not using and have no intent of using.
Embrace the change. It is going happen.
I remember many of my friends bitching when the pandemic hit and had to work from home. Change. Now they all love it!!!!! And don't want to return. A little over half of them, there companies either completely sold off the office or found much smaller accommodationsReplyDelete
I think there will be more companies giving up spaceDelete
I think the pandemic changes the way we think about work. I know a lot of my friends are still working remotely as they voted to do so. When you think about it, working remotely saves on gas and time. Of course, there is nothing like face to face interaction either, so maybe a hybrid system is the way to go.ReplyDelete
I like being in a couple of days a week, for what we do, that worksDelete
Interesting post! It occurred to me as well that there is big money to be saved on renting space if most people work mainly from home. You would think businesses and corporations would love that.ReplyDelete
My organization has redone one office already, we are working on the second oneDelete
Change is good.ReplyDelete
The alternative is bad.
I work from home one day a week, with four days in mostly because I see clients and do I want all those people trampling into my home?????
Two days a week in will cover the meetings I need most weeksDelete
FHY, here's how I steal memes: click and drag the meme off the original site and put it in a photo folder, then upload it from there to my draft blog post.ReplyDelete
Thanks, you always have some good onesDelete
It's already happening where I work. They are set to remodel our office and convert to the "hoteling" concept. As long as I can work from home all but two days a week, I'm perfectly happy sharing a space. I do hate losing my two huge monitors though. Maybe they'll let me take one home.ReplyDelete
I have a second computer on my desk, I will need to deal withDelete
I recently heard the advice to 'stay curious' and 'keep being astounded' to keep us open to change/growth. Without, we become fossilized.ReplyDelete
I was writing something recently about reading and growing, keep exploringDelete
I love working remotely and would do so permanently if I could. Our entire unit function is information based. We have computers, phones, emails, texts, Teams to communicate. There is no need for physical presence or proximity to do our jobs. Our agency doesn't care. We are required to work 3 days in the office because because.ReplyDelete