At present, a large swathe of the UK’s 33 million total workforce has been instructed by the government to work from home as the country deals with the outbreak of Coronavirus.
While the likes of health and care workers, police, pharmacists and retail bankers are among those who must still travel to their place of employment, for most of us social distancing means office closure.
It’s no exaggeration, then, to say that millions of employees who have never worked remotely, including in their own home, are currently having to adapt to doing so. (Just 2 million of us work remotely, according to the TUC).
Only time will tell whether this promotes a permanent rise in home-based working even after life returns to how it was before. But the vast majority of people who regularly carried out the bulk of their role in professional premises will likely pick up where they left off.
When our working lives eventually get back to normal, workspaces will have to ramp up quickly to support the expected new spike in productivity. A nation that has been forced to down tools will, for the most part, be keen to resume their working routines.
That means tech will come into play, perhaps to an extent that has never been seen before. When industries of all shapes and sizes - and the people who work in them - need to slip seamlessly back into gear, technology can be the force that helps business get back on its feet.
Although society may change in ways we couldn’t possibly have imagined prior to the virus, many things in working life will remain the same. In the office environment, that will mean workers wanting peace of mind - and being entitled to personal security - whether they have a regular workspace, hot desk or switch between office-based and remote working.
Those requirements are likely to be even more pertinent when the current chaos is over. It’s easy to imagine a rush of furloughed projects suddenly coming back on-stream and needing to be completed in double-quick time as businesses play catch-up.
In this situation, people will want to roll up their sleeves and get on with work that had been sidelined. To that end, they’ll expect the nitty-gritty of office life to be taken care of: from wages returning to pre-crisis levels, through to clean environments and office security.
State-of-the-art electronic locker systems are revolutionising storage as part of wider officer design. This technology-driven response to the requirements of UK businesses is increasing employee satisfaction and helping to maximise team productivity, while also optimising interior real estate.
Here are some of the features you should be thinking about when considering installation of an electronic locker system for the returning workforce:
• Innovation: Ensure your electronic locking and storage devices are connected, to communicate with your existing technology and exchange information. This significantly improves workers’ convenience, comfort, productivity, efficiency and security.
• Bespoke: Does your business have specific requirements of electronic storage to suit its work practices? Leading suppliers can offer a carefully selected range of products to provide the most relevant technical solution for your storage and security needs.
• Future proofed: A wide range of metal and wooden storage unit design and manufacture is available. Integrated technology solutions can offer a seamless user experience across an array of applications. This stretches beyond offices; it also suits other environments that require secure lockers, such as medical, education and leisure facilities.
Ultimately, electronic storage builds efficiency. It enables companies to optimise space utilisation, minimise overheads and enhance functional work practices. Don’t be afraid to ask for a pre-sale requirement audit, installation service, activation process, training and post-installation support to ensure the needs of every project are met in full.
Although office life has been put on the back-burner, now is the time for proactive facilities managers to prepare for the great rush back to work which is sure to come. Having the nuts and bolts of completing daily tasks taken care of - including efficient, secure storage - will be the least employees expect.
We hope you are all safe and well during this time and extend our well wishes to you all.