Our recommendations for effective working in a post-COVID-19 world.
To effectively exploit the innovation, creativity-enhancing, and collaborative benefits of a physical office/workspace, within a hybrid model, businesses should consider:
Making use of tech-enabled spaces, including shared working spaces that enable creativity and collaboration both within and between organisations.
Increasing the amount of collaborative space in existing offices/workspaces to enable people to work together effectively when they come into the office.
Making use of existing communities, resources and collaborative projects to get the best support and highest quality thought leadership on what will work best
Businesses can get involved in leading-edge research projects with academic institutions such as the Leeds University Business School project “Adapting offices for the future of work”.
To effectively build and maintain a strong company culture remotely, businesses should consider:
For very early-stage and/or small businesses especially, making use of shared working spaces that can help build an organisational culture.
Consistently communicating the organisation’s dedication to new working models, as well as role modelling key behaviours to embed a strong organisational culture.
Placing remote working within the broader context of flexible working options.
Businesses can make use of shared working spaces in their local area, which offer a range of co-working and private office spaces.
To overcome barriers to innovation and take advantage of big opportunities for growth that have arisen due to COVID-19, businesses should consider:
Accessing regional and local innovation ecosystems to capitalise on the very
best support available.
Making use of funded opportunities, partnerships and grant schemes through universities and UK innovation funding bodies.
Taking action within your organisation to fuel digital transformation and become bigger, faster and stronger.
Businesses can also make use of networks and funded knowledge exchange through the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and partnership schemes with universities through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
The survey undertaken by CBI Economics and Nexus uncovers clear challenges and opportunities faced by firms as they enter a radically different post-COVID-19 working world.
Whilst there are multiple findings, challenges and solutions for businesses to consider in this report, there are also some consistent themes that have arisen which will be of central importance to businesses to consider going forward, including the following:
Employees are the lifeblood of a business, and businesses cannot forge a prosperous post-COVID-19 path without putting them front and centre in everything they do. The survey results indicate that businesses understand the importance of employees and they should ensure that they build healthy organisational hybrid cultures, consult with and communicate clearly to employees as one voice, attentively listen to their views and put their wellbeing first.
Whatever the sector or size of the business, it is essential to seek out support networks, business communities and innovation ecosystems to make use of available expertise and research. Failure to do so at this critical time could mean missing out on big opportunities for growth in a post-COVID-19 world.
New ways of working during COVID-19 have uncovered permanent changes for the better. The survey results show that businesses are embracing this change, including their radical shift to hybrid. Businesses must remain flexible and adaptable to further changes that will present themselves as they adjust to the post-COVID-19 world, or they risk falling behind competitors without a chance of catching-up.