Thursday, 29 July 2021

“Too good to go back”: Nokia backs hybrid working in post-Covid shakeup

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Tuesday 22 June 21

The Finnish vendor is set to boost flexible working after an employee survey showed that 91% of respondents felt they retained or increased their productivity when working from home

Is working from home here to stay? For Nokia, the answer from employees seems to be a resounding ‘yes’. In a recent survey conducted by Nokia of around 26,000 employees, around 91% of respondents said they felt they were equally or more productive when working from home, compared to in the office. Despite this, however, it was also clear from the survey that the employees valued some time in the office each week…

Is working from home here to stay? For Nokia, the answer from employees seems to be a resounding ‘yes’.

In a recent survey conducted by Nokia of around 26,000 employees, around 91% of respondents said they felt they were equally or more productive when working from home, compared to in the office.

Despite this, however, it was also clear from the survey that the employees valued some time in the office each week. On average, respondents wanted to work two or three days from home, with 81% still preferring to come into the office for at least some time during their working week. 

As a result of this survey, Nokia says that it plans to rethink its current use of office space, with up to 70% of the space allocated for teamwork and meetings, with less reserved for individual work stations.

The company will also launch a smart office app by the end of the year, allowing employees to better coordinate their time in the office, as well as providing online tool kits to help teams establish better, more flexible working models.

“The pandemic forced organisations to change. Technology gave people the tools to innovate. In many cases, the results have been too good to go back to the old way of doing things,” said Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO of Nokia.

“While flexibility and respect have always been at the heart of Nokia, we want to give all our people even greater choice and flexibility over their work, so we are accelerating our transition to become a fully hybrid global workplace. Some people will choose to work more from home, others will choose mainly to work in offices redesigned to offer more collaborative spaces, and in other places we will secure the right facilities as and when required. This will be a country-by-country process and we will learn and refine as we go.”

The company’s updated hybrid working guidelines will come into effect universally at the start of 2022, with Nokia’s Covid-19 policy of working from home will remain in effect until then.

Nokia is not the only major telecoms player rethinking its remote working strategy.

Just yesterday, Proximus announced that it now has plans to sell its Brussels headquarters and lease back only part of the building, with the rest used for other tenants. The operator said that they want to develop a more “open campus feeling”, with the space focused on social interaction between employees, partners, and customers. 

The motivation here appears to be the increased amount of remote and hybrid working at the company, but the reduction of office space also has financial and environmental benefits, reducing overhead costs significantly and reducing the company’s carbon footprint by eliminating travel for many employees.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2026.

 

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