For more than a year now, millions of people have been forced out of their offices by the pandemic to work from home. But is that a situation that's here to stay or a temporary blip – an "aberration," as Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon has put it?
The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole considers the future of work, and asks what are the real benefits and potential pitfalls of a post-pandemic return to the office?
First we talk to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics. She explains how employers can ensure that their employees remain productive with a flexible work schedule [00:42].
Then Heejung Chung from the University of Kent's school of social policy, sociology and social research explains how there could be real benefits to the new working normal, especially in bridging the gender pay and opportunities gap [06:17].
On the downside, Yasuhiro Kotera, academic lead in counselling, psychotherapy and psychology at the University of Derby explains why many employees have struggled with working from home and what companies can do to make things easier for their employees. He also highlights the intangible benefits of working in an office and the value for both employers and employees in heading into a designated workplace [11:34].
Finally we are joined by Mathieu Proust, the general manager for the UK, Ireland and emerging markets at WeWork who enthuses on how short-term leases and shared workspaces could be the way of the future [18:12].