What does a post pandemic work environment look like for both employers and employees?
At the height of the lockdowns many companies were forced to adapt to accommodate home working and remote operation. At the same time employees experienced what it is like to work from home and how their days could be structured differently in the future.
This has created a choice and an opportunity for organizations to use their learning from the past two years to positively shape business practices.
The 2022 Work Reimagined Survey by multinational professional services business Ernst & Young Global Limited, known as EY, found 80 per cent of employees want to work at least two days remotely per week. A reluctance toward fully remote working was voiced by only 20 per cent of employees, compared to 34 per cent last year. The insight was gathered from more than 17,000 employees and 1,575 employers across 22 countries and 26 industries.
However, there is not always the infrastructure in place to support this as new Ricoh Europe commissioned research has found. It reported that just one in five office workers say their workplace has a hybrid working policy in place. The Opinium survey of 3,000 office workers across the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, found almost two thirds (64 per cent) believe it should be the individual’s choice to return to the office in 2022.
The report highlighted inadequate technology as one of the factors holding back the creation of more accommodating and agile ways of working.
But there are plenty of solutions and services that can help.
Some inspiring examples are:
Retail – After investing in print production solutions to create social distancing signage, British retailer, Next UK, expanded into printing point of sale material on demand. By using intelligent templates, staff can customize POS and signage material to strict brand guidelines wherever they are working, in store or at home.
Legal companies – The need to generate, print, and securely store time critical documents has prompted investment in internal production capabilities. Increasingly legal businesses are looking to maintain high data protection standards while being confident that legal records and documents are rapidly available, via a streamlined workflow to optimize efficiency and client demands.
Banking and Insurance – The focus on maintaining critical customer communications in a centralized way that ensures accuracy and consistency has resulted in the adoption of different ways of working. The right software enabled DZ Bank to upload customer letters to a portal for approval, print, and distribution. This can reduce local administration and save time and money, while allowing bank employees, working from home, to process and distribute financial correspondence, without compromising security or customer experience.
Craig Lewis is head of Enterprise Printing, Ricoh Graphic Communications, Ricoh Europe.
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