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Hybrid and ‘hub and spoke’ offices to overtake remote working next year

Once employees are no longer at significant risk of contracting Covid-19 in the UK, businesses will start to roll-out a combination of remote and on-site work, which may see employees come to the office for only a few days a week or month. This is the main prediction in global technology company Zoho’s 2021 workplace report.

According to Ranjendran Dandapani, Director of Technology for Zoho:

“While some employees will prefer work-from-home as it allows them to be more productive, provides flexibility, prevents office commute and supports location independence, others will opt for the office as they feel face-to-face interactions with peers are necessary to be productive.”

Zoho Corporation’s other 2021 trends predict that an office style that could gain further traction is the hub-and-spoke workspace. Organisations may have their central headquarters (hub) for periodic team gatherings and strategy discussions, and a network of small satellite offices spread across various small towns or rural villages in a country. The model promises a two-way benefit. The small offices will substantially reduce operational costs for organisations while also allowing employees to work in an office that’s closer to their home-towns. This will ensue a true revitalisation of tier-2 and tier-3 locations, as businesses slowly realise that they need not be based in a metropolitan area.

Along with a growth in remote hiring practices and the increased adoption of HR tech another key business aspects that has changed considerably through remote work is performance management. Organisations will start measuring what matters: work done instead of hours worked, and missions accomplished instead of tasks completed.

Some companies are making performance reviews an ongoing process, giving up annual routines. Continuous feedback will become an essential aspect of employee management, which will help the workers clearly navigate their job responsibilities and expectations when they work remotely. Rethinking the goal-setting approach and identifying the correct things to measure is the first step towards sanity, in this new normal.

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