The Future of Work is Dynamic

by Okta

We don’t yet know when this pandemic will be over, but we do know one thing: things won’t ever go back to normal as we know it.

The traditional workplace, and the notion of going into an office five days a week, is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean we’ll all be working remotely. After all, not all of us want to - once the pandemic ends, as only 24% of UK respondents said they want to return to the office full-time, as did 33% of respondents in France, 30% in Germany and 33% in the Netherlands.

Though the findings of the survey have varied on a per-country basis, the findings are similar in terms of what people want; the majority would like a flexible arrangement where they can work from home on a part-time basis. Of all those surveyed, across the UK and Europe, 35% said they would prefer this way of working going forward.

16% of those surveyed said that they’d prefer a fully remote working arrangement going forward, with 17% of those stating that they’d consider moving from their current location if their employer was to move to a fully remote working arrangement. This figure increases to 19% in the UK, an area where those in the city often struggle with tiny rented accommodation that can be difficult to use as a place to work.

As Okta’s survey has shown, we all work differently, no matter what sector we work in. And while some sectors are more prepared than others, it’s clear what our working cultures require a more dynamic approach - in which businesses rethink the traditional workplace in order to empower employees to truly be their most productive and successful selves wherever they work.

Some people, particularly those with the space to do so, perform better if they avoid their twice daily commute and head to work in their distraction-free home office, while those who live in more cramped accommodation, or work in industries that require it - get their best work done when in a more traditional office environment where they can be surrounded by co-workers and take part in face-to-face meetings.

Companies that want to succeed in this new era of working dynamically, as Okta’s survey has shown, need to be technologically-enabled and culturally-ready to manage the challenge. It’s not just about enabling remote working for those employees who thrive in that environment, it’s about focusing on providing the same quality of employee experience that the office life can give us.

A dynamic approach to work also offers bigger picture gains, such as improving the average employees’ work/life balance. Research has shown that being able to balance these two worlds is often key to feeling happier, reducing stress and being more productive while at work, which in turn benefits any company.

Economically, this would not only allow businesses to be able to lower overhead costs and increase workforce productivity, but employees would also reap the rewards of no longer having to spend thousands of pounds a year on exhaustive commutes and workplace attire, nor would some feel they need to be bound to an expensive big city such as London, which has often been required for roles within certain industries.

As Okta’s research has shown, living in a big city - and the smaller housing space that comes with it - can affect an employee’s overall productivity and satisfaction levels, and assuming a business is prepared from a technology point of view, is not a necessary component of getting the job done.

Even though it remains to be seen where businesses will be this time next year, it’s certain that the way we work is going to change.

At Okta, nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our community, and we know many organisations feel the same. In response to the continually developing COVID-19 crisis, we’re seeing companies all over the world take various steps to help protect their employees. For many, this strategy includes enabling employees to work from home.

While many organisations were ahead of the curve, for others, staying secure and productive during this critical time has been a new and sudden challenge.