Another focus in the exploration of ‘The New Normal’, and one which holds a more significant sense of unknown, is the questions around what we’ll start to see from the newly emerged ‘Work from Home’ environment. To date the workforce has, out of necessity, very much had to ‘just adapt, get on with it, and make it work’. Yet as this sense of ‘new normal’ sets in, we have the opportunity to pause, step back and address how, if this really is to become the norm, do we create environments which simultaneously maximise both productivity and well being when working at home?
Businesses such as the UK arm of Swiss Re – the world's second largest reinsurance provider – have started to address this challenge by offering their staff an allowance for ‘Work from Home’ office furniture and equipment. If businesses are to be saving money on overheads, it seems only fair for them to be contributing to helping staff make their workspaces as effective and inspiring as possible.
There's no doubt that, although free from the usual distraction of ad-hoc requests or unnecessary meeting of the office environment, working from home does come with its own set of distractions. We’ve all become more independently responsible for our own workflow – while it's also become increasingly important to be able to self-spark inspiration for new ideas, while simultaneously needing to be able to self-reflect and critiquing our own ideas before progressing.
This is something our team has themselves been exploring a lot, and it's been great to see the ideas and new ways of thinking which have come as a result. New models for processes, workflow innovation, and ideas for products to adapt to the changing work environment, have all been flowing. It’s all culminated into a new product we’re excited to be releasing; a Home Office whiteboard package, which we hope will help the workforce to really embrace the ideas and inspiration which this ‘new normal’ is sure to spark across the country.