The New Normal

Posted 1 week ago by BowlPhish

‘The New Normal’; rapidly becoming an everyday phase these days - yet the answers to exactly what this ‘new normal’ will look like remain more elusive. Here at The Glass Wipe Board Company we’ve been paying close attention to how the industry is evolving and how, in response, we can be adapting our offering to better serve our clients and the needs of a recovering UK economy as a whole.

Our marketing manager recently conducted a survey on LinkedIn exploring what changes professionals - both employees and employers - were expecting on ‘returning to work’. When asked whether they expected to be able to work from home more in the future, or whether they were looking forward to returning to the office environment – the response was consistently in favour of a new combined approach; taking the best bits from both options. 

Over the recent weeks, we have seen much of the traditionally office-based workforce adapt and slowly learn to embrace many of the benefits of working from home; increased productivity and flexibility in a relaxed atmosphere. Yet the time working remotely from colleagues and away from the office has also made us crave the ideas and motivation which come from being part of a team sharing the same space.

The question going forward seems likely to be – how can we adapt to have the best of both worlds? This will be a question to consider from the point of view of business leaders and employees alike. The ability for organisations to save money on general office overheads is bound to be appealing to many, yet we believe there is also likely to be an increased need, focus, and level of spend on making those collaborative and meeting spaces as inspiring and productive as possible - for those times when it is worth the extra effort for teams and clients/suppliers to meet in person.

We’ve always been advocates from the power of sharing ideas, empowered communication and inspiring presentation spaces – and we believe, going forward, in person meetings will be about quality over quantity. Yes, working from home and digital meetings have their benefits on many occasions, but there are equally many occasions in which the power of face-to-face interaction and collaboration is far too important and powerful to completely lose. The silver lining of the current situation may be that we’re getting better at being able to distinguish between the two. 

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. 

As a member of the Made in Britain campaign, we’re passionate about doing everything we can to support the UK economy to successfully bounce back. We hope that our new Home Office package – featuring a smaller, more compact version of our bestselling WallMounted Glass Wipe Board range, will be the perfect solution for anyone looking for something more reliable and inspiring than those million (minus the ones that go missing!) Post-It notes - while still maintaining that weirdly satisfying quality of handwritten (and ticked off!) to-do lists, scribbled diagrams, or frantic ideas that just can't wait to be expressed. And because all our white boards are made with toughened glass for safety, as well as being quick, easy and safe to install onto practically any wall type, we’re excited to be able to offer them to support the new Work from Home market.

You can find out more about our new Home Office product offering – whether it be for yourself or your teams that are remote working – via the Home Office page on our website.