In this magazine we have been following with interest the world’s response to the Covid-19 lockdowns and its effects on the workplace, working habits and the economy.
And the trend was that the governments of most of the major economies around the world shut down all but essential and home working in order to ‘flatten the curve’ of the pandemic. So that regulated in massive numbers of office workers working from home during lockdowns. This was unique. And so no one could base predictions on any previous evidence as to how office workers and their employers would react to the practice of home working. And that’s why it has been interesting to watch the reactions unfold.
The data points to the UK’s home workers as being the most reluctant to return. And so in response the trend of their employers has been to announce the extension to home working even though the government scrapped their guidance that workers should work at home wherever and whenever they could. And that was primarily to avoid travelling to work on public transport where they could keep socially distanced from other commuters on the systems notoriously overcrowded trains, buses, trams and underground systems.
So why then has Amazon announced plans to invest more than a billion dollars in nine hundred thousand square feet of new office space hubs in six US cities that will accommodate thousands of office workers including the creation of 3,500 new jobs?
Amazon’s VP is quoted as saying that whilst teams can work together virtually it isn’t as spontaneous as when they’re working together in the same physical space. And that’s why Amazon is looking forward to their teams returning to the office.