Welcome to a new way of working
2020 has seen a lot of changes to the way we work. Although the number of people working remotely has been rising consistently over the last decade, this has accelerated this year as many of us have been forced out of our offices and into our kitchens as a result of the pandemic.
We work with a number of Property Management service companies, and they have told us that these are some of the key challenges they have faced this year. Perhaps you recognise some of them?
Moving from the office to the home
Typically, pre 2020, organisations were reluctant to allow their employees to work from home. This was primarily due to lack of confidence and a fear that overall employee efficiency would decrease.
The pandemic has shown us that this is not true at all. Many people have successfully switched from offices to their homes and are performing just as well, or even better, despite the presence of all the things that were previously considered to be distractions. Here are some key areas that are of benefit to businesses – the question is, how can Property Management Services ensure that they are supporting their employees effectively?
Reaping the benefits of efficient home working
The long-lasting belief of many companies has been that employees’ efficiency decreases due to the distractions at home. However, the Coronavirus has proven that people working from their homes for the last 6-8 months have managed to match the same daily progress as in their respective offices. Reasons for this include:
- The home is more comfortable for many people – for example the dress codes are more relaxed.
- Many get a mood boost from having their loved ones near.
- A reduction in the office commute means that employees are more energized and are able to be more flexible with working hours.
Property Management companies are looking at providing more satellite offices to ensure that employees reap the benefits of this new way of working. They are beginning to investigate options such as providing smaller, quieter and more focused work areas that can be used as needed.
Improving environments in the office
As the longer term impact of Coronavirus begins to reduce, there is still a high chance that offices running their operations online will continue to ask their employees to work from home, as the cost benefits to business are becoming clear. However, cities and businesses around the globe will slowly start to re-open and employees will return to the office.
This gives innovative Property Management companies the chance to take a lead. How can you build non-invasive contact tracing in the office? Where is best to put hand sanitisers and ensure people use them? Perhaps they could examine looking at different forms of health data to ensure that employees are more comfortable in the office.
But what is normal going to look like?
People quickly adapted to be able to do their jobs from home; and when this pandemic subsides, working from home is going to remain very popular. Statistics released by the UK's Office for National Statistics showed 49.2% of adults in employment were working from home during 2020. But what does this mean?
- We are likely to see buildings at reduced capacity - how do we monitor and secure those assets and maximise cost savings?
- Employees will still meet face to face, even if less frequently - how do we reduce the risk of spreading a virus within our organisation when individuals are more remote than ever?
One of the main challenges we've faced whilst working from home, has been not being able to be face to face, around a table with our colleagues discussing and building on our ideas. Apps like Microsoft Teams have helped massively with this, but it has to be said that the number of meetings we have has been cut down. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though; every company has entire meetings that could be taken care of in one email - and that's what we've been doing. A group chat or email string has replaced some meetings.
The solution we provided for Securitas is a great example of how a connected IoT solution adds value to a working home or office space. Securitas offer a range of protective services including on-site security guards, alarms and remote monitoring.
With Intamac, Securitas created a new, cost-effective security system for homeowners and small businesses. You could already install devices like cameras and door sensors in your home DIY, but there was no way of monitoring your property whilst you were away. If an alarm went off, you had to hope that your neighbours would alert you. So, Securitas approached Intamac to engineer an easy-to-use IoT system for this key customer need.
You can find our solution here: https://www.intamac.com/securitas