This week, Peter Brauer, CEO at Turning Point HR Solutions wonders whether the concept of ‘office’ will ever return to pre Covid relevance.

The notion that corporates jostle for space in the centre of our cities is fundamental to not only our daily working norms, but also to the pension funds that invest heavily in office space and office developments.

Pollution levels have reduced by more during the Covid epidemic than during the 2008 global crisis, with air travel simply not an option and global lockdowns taking traffic off the roads.

So what happens when we eventually get the all clear from our government and vaccines make international travel a thing again?

Current regional weightings in salaries differ in a -25% to +25% around the norm, driven by factors such as astronomical train season ticket prices and everyday items such as sandwich costs.

What happens if the new working model requires office attendance once a week, resulting in reduced stress from commutes, reduced pollution from cars on the roads and reduced costs to employees?. 

Better employee well-being + reduced costs = what outcomes to salaries and benefits?

And how about this for a thought? With lockdown and home schooling, both parents have been made aware of the realities of the real value of effective, loving child care- and the realisation of how relentlessly demanding it is. Might this be the big step that society needs to take in order to value care provision for families and thus remove the gender pay imbalance- big stuff.

Should you as an employer continue to pay the London (or any other regional) weighting, when your workforce no longer needs to travel on a daily basis?

If these scenarios are played out, then the -25% – + 25% variants will surely normalise, not just across the UK, but across many other jurisdictions.

ONS figures during the pandemic have shown that many companies are maintaining similar levels of productivity with remote working and reduced staff numbers.

What does this mean to the structure of companies and their workforce? The need to manage remote workforces effectively becomes essential.

Our company embraced the remote working model over 5 years ago, now meeting up regularly to enjoy genuine face time (and some great whiskey tasting at our last summit in Edinburgh!)

In these times of change, the need for you to access live and current trend data is paramount to understanding how you will need to attract and retain your people in the new and exciting world.

As an HR professional, getting access to good quality, reliable and relevant pay benchmarking data can be challenging.

Even more challenging is getting access to accurate and reliable international pay and benefits data, hiring norms and tax regimes, and getting it all from a single source rather than relying upon separate providers in separate jurisdictions without racking up exorbitant costs for new ventures.

However, some new software platforms are coming on to the market that can offer solutions in the Brave New World, click here to find out more.