Work-Life During a Pandemic

The Lessons We Should Take from Months of Lockdown

01 December 2020

A hybrid office mixed with time working remotely looks to be the future of professions and enterprises in Central Europe.

Over the past several months, the comforts and challenges of staying at home have been met with the demands of the workplace.

Personal issues vary, from an adequate workspace and a strong internet connection to being able to isolate oneself from family and housemates in order to facilitate concentration and effective time usage, but regardless of these diverse set of problems, there is huge potential for all of us to continue working remotely.

Technology has offered us avenues to develop and grow our businesses and economies in the direst of circumstances, but with these advances, there is also a toll on our physical and psychological wellbeing.

Power of socialisation

Currently, most still active in the workforce rely on the previous relationships we have fostered from our time together in closer proximity, but what do we risk when the time of working remotely increases?

It depends greatly on the field in which one works and how much collaboration is needed. For individualised tasks (e.g. coding, writing, accountancy, etc.), this environment can be rather conducive. When interaction or a series of meetings are required, it can become physically and mentally taxing to continually be online; far more so than when in-person meetings run all day.

In time, our working relationships may become more strained and the ability to collaborate muted.

Unfortunately, we are divided – as a society – on what environments are most suitable for our careers. Roughly 50 per cent of people prefer working from home while the other half prefer meeting in the office.

It need not be such a convenient ratio, but it does lead to the conclusion that a hybrid model for the future is likely.

Rise of coworking spaces

The trend from the past decade of shared working space for small, medium and even large corporations has been rather incredible. For the businesses, it cuts considerable costs from their budgets which can be allocated to other areas as needs be.

The flexibility and quality of spaces have obvious benefits for the employees as well.

This trend is especially alive in Central Europe as, according to a Colliers’ Report, Warsaw is the second fastest city adopting flexible working spaces; the first place is Moscow.

Time spent in shared working environments can also allow for impromptu networking sessions or even brainstorming from those outside your field of expertise. When they incorporate offices within these spaces, a hybrid model emerges which is likely to be where this sector may develop.

Obviously, the pandemic has hurt co-working spaces hard, but there is every reason to believe that after we are past the “lockdown” procedures, these offices should thrive once again, and a future incorporating remote and hybrid working seems to be the most likely.

 

 

This is a summary of a discussion with Ketevan Ebanoidze (Co-CEO, Impact Hub Tbilisi) and Jerzy Brodzikowski (General Manager, CIC Warsaw) at the New Europe 100 Forum on 27-28 October 2020, edited by Galan Dall, Editor-at-Large of Visegrad Insight. Find out more about the upcoming New Europe 100 Forum, future activities and our partners here. For updates, follow @NewEurope100.

The article is part of a project supported by the International Visegrad Fund.

 

 

 

 

Galan Dall

Editor-at-Large of Visegrad Insight

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