Challenges facing the office workplace

May 14th 2020

1. Remote work versus office work

While remote work may be challenging the status quo of office work, it may rather be an opportunity for your business. Remote work has a lot of advantages to it: workers spend less time commuting, both the business and employees spend less money, productivity is better and remote work overall provides a healthier lifestyle. 

One clear disadvantage of remote work is that you need a well thought out plan in place to effectively have either some or all of your staff working remotely. Without all being in the same office, your workforce will need to adopt technology to make sure collaboration does not suffer. If you’re interested in ditching the office altogether and going remote, I recommend reading this guide.

In conclusion, don’t shy away from remote work, but make sure you have a solid plan in place and the technology to back it up.

2. Communication in the office

People have different communication styles, and navigating how to communicate with your co-workers is a challenge most employees encounter. Effective communication is critical to your team’s efficiency, as well as staff morale.

One way to encourage effective communication in your office is by making communication a part of everybody’s routine. If appropriate, consider doing “daily standups”, which are typically team huddles done in the morning that keep everybody on the same page, but also give them an opportunity to raise any challenges they’re currently facing.

3. Productivity and motivation in the office

Keeping employees engaged, motivated, and productive in the office space is a huge ongoing challenge for businesses. To address this challenge, consider implementing the following:

  1. Set SMART goals for your employees: SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Setting goals for your employees shouldn’t be done to increase pressure, but instead help employees feel like they are making regular progress on larger projects to help them stay motivated.
  2. Acknowledge hard work: Results should be celebrated, and recognising your team’s hard work can help them feel motivated to continue being productive.
  3. Communicate regularly: Regular communication can help employees get out of a rut, and also give them a chance to voice any challenges that are blocking their current work.
  4. Promote a healthy lifestyle: Encouraging a healthy relationship between work and life helps keep your employees motivated and avoids burnout. Employees should take regular breaks, stay home if they’re sick, and be given time to recharge.

4. Staying up to date with technology

Technology is crucial for offices to help improve productivity, quality of work, and communication. What technology you should use will depend on your office, but here are a few broad considerations:


Where possible, automation can save a huge amount of time and money on the processes you carry out regularly. A simple example of automation would be setting up email filters, which is possible with most mail apps such as Gmail and Outlook. With email filters, you can automatically forward, trash, reply, or archive emails to keep your inbox much cleaner, reducing the amount of time you spend sludging through new emails.

A more advanced example of automation would be Zapier, which can make a variety of software you probably use in the office talk to each other, significantly reducing your amount of admin work. For example, you can put new emails that match a certain criteria into a Google spreadsheet, or automatically add new bookings to your calendar.

Going paperless

If you’ve ever worked in an old-school office, you will be familiar with the stacks and stacks of papers. By going paperless, offices can save both time and money, as well as reduce their impact on the environment.

How you go paperless will depend on how your office operates, but you can store your old papers digitally in a place like OneDrive, DropBox, or Google Drive. For future documents, create an action and training plan to avoid printing documents in the first place.

If your office regularly fills out paper forms, or processes paper forms filled out on-site for industries like construction or agriculture, consider investing in a data collection app like Locale Central. Data collection apps help your team fill out forms or checklists using their computers or mobile phones, increasing productivity and keeping your data in one central place.

Visitor management systems

A staple of most modern offices is the need to record visitors coming in and out of the office place, whether it be for security, local regulations, or streamlining business operations. To speed up the visitor sign in and sign out process, consider an application like Locale Central.

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