Covid-19 is shaping the future of work culture

By DARMINAA UTHAYAKUMAR / Pic BERNAMA

THE Covid-19 pandemic not only expedited the change in work culture, especially towards working remotely, but also on how organisations will run its operations in the future.

“It got me thinking whether Covid-19 could permanently shift working patterns when normal times return,” James Buckley, ED of Capital Markets in Knight Frank Malaysia, said in a statement yesterday.

He believes that flexible or home working will be more accepted for certain businesses. In fact, he added, not all remotely based employees are operating from their homes — many can choose to work from co-working spaces, coffee shops or restaurants.

“This does not mean the death of the office, but we could see a shift in the working model where it becomes more of a place for connection, socialisation, creativity and innovation,” he added.

“Office accommodation is a high fixed cost and business leaders may consider whether it is actually necessary for all teams to have a dedicated desk. Hot desking, remote working and some provision of co-working can help businesses to reduce this fixed cost and also provides flexibility to scale up or reduce business space as and when required.”

The firm said before the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been stated that the future of work will be towards working remotely.

“However, that movement has clearly been expedited. This startling change is not only changing how work is currently being conducted, but also how it will continue to operate in the future,” the firm said in the same statement.

To ensure business continuity, Knight Frank said organisations are advised to have a solid networking infrastructure in place, enabling their employees to stay connected and be productive while working remotely.

Meanwhile, Knight Frank Malaysia ED for corporate services, Teh Young Khean said the benefit of working from home includes avoiding long commutes, the preparation time and additional costs of being out of home.

He said it can be treated as financial benefits given cost avoidance which becomes available to individuals.

“However, it takes a certain amount of discipline to work at home with the same level of focus as in the office. The same level of discipline is needed to focus at home to know when work should stop and normal home life begins,” he said.