Working and living with the risks of COVID-19 will have massive impacts on the workplace. COVID-19 risk assessments and the resulting controls such as social distancing tape, changing shift patterns etc are just the tip of the ice berg. There will be huge socio, economic and demographic changes. The shift to working from home will become the new normal, already the UK’s largest commercial property group, Landsec, predicts office space requirements will drop more than 25% this year.
The economic downturn limits opportunities so organisations adopt survival strategies. Firstly, they will review cost structures and staffing levels that will make redundancies inevitable. According to Insidermedia Wales (14th May-20) JCB has already written to all its staff about potential job cuts at its UK plants, including Wrexham. After staff, property offers the greatest potential for cost reduction. With fewer employees, increased home working and lower levels of production/distribution space requirements organisations will look to downsize.
The second obvious course for survival plan productivity improvement. Technology has been the great enabler in allowing staff to work at home and it will be the key to further efficiencies. With cloud based networks and improved security (with e-signing becoming acceptable) workers can simply login to communicate and share information as part of a lean document management solution. Even a traditional county solicitor who has always liked a paper file has got used to working at home with two screens and fully searchable electronic documents that can be shard and signed by clients.
The great question is how organisations respond to the impacts COVID-19 will have. Those businesses that get lean, fit and responsive to the post COVID-19 challenges will survive.
Topwood is dedicated to the concept of lean document management. What do we mean by lean? The term have been around since the 1980s when manufacturers, such as Toyota introduced systems that minimised waste by providing exactly the correct material in the right quantity at the right time to the correct location.