Office of the future & remote working

The transition from the office to a virtual workforce

How do you create your office of the future?

As soon as it’s allowed again, the intention is that employees will meet in the office more often. However the expectation is that working from home will continue, even after we have emerged from the COVID-19 crisis. Most large organizations will not go back to the pre-corona crisis office situation. After all, working from home is largely perceived as positive by both employees and employers. It is therefore expected that the old normal will be part of the past when it comes to office situations. While offices are not yet "outdated", we are in the middle of a transition to a virtual workforce that will take more time than many might expect. Companies need an approach that enables virtual work on a structural basis instead of considering remote working as a one or two month stopgap. In any case, the switch to new ways of working will not proceed with the same speed that companies were able to switch to remote working during the crisis. Ideas about current office space choices depend on work and the workforce that companies expect to use in future. How do you create your future office and how can you use your office spaces more creatively to accommodate hybrid "on-premise" and "work-from-anywhere" models?

Office as a meeting place

Our recently published research shows that if all employees work an extra day from home, this can lead to an increase in costs in the long term. These are mainly due to the effects of less collaboration, less involvement in the organization, isolation, burnouts and stress. Despite the fact that collaboration with colleagues also happens from home, research shows that the most effective collaboration occurs in (physical) places that stimulate the exchange of ideas. Moreover, working from home lacks the "chance meeting" that leads to new ideas. In short, the expectation is that when it is possible again, the work will be done partly at home and partly at the office. Whereby the office will become a kind of meeting place and the development of the work will mainly be done at home.

In order to be able to respond to this properly with creating your office of the future, it will be necessary to reconsider where and how the work should be done. Start by defining the purpose of your office or business space. Evaluate what is happening exactly in your office. What do your employees value and for what would they come back to the office? A number of companies outside the manufacturing sector have shown that they can effectively work from home, so identify - and explain - the reasons why people should come back to the office. The office can evolve from a standard location where they go to get their work done into a meeting place. This is because employees are loyal to each other and need a space where formal and informal conversations can take place.

Reinventing where and how the work gets done can provide significant value for employers and employees 

Office of the future & remote working
Office of the future & remote working

Office of the Future has three complementary workplaces:

Branded office space

Operated by the company or fully dedicated serviced office

  • Within a company office, employees are assigned to a neighborhood rather than a specific desk. 
  • Employees are provided a choice of workplace settings and technology to enable working from anywhere in the office


Virtual: Working from home or any other location

No local company site near employee or employee directed to work primarily from home

  • Employees work remotely utilizing their company device
  • Virtual environments can enable focused work and drive increased productivity


Drop-in or membership model Shared working space: not company dedicated or branded

Operated by the service provider

  • Maximum portfolio flexibility
  • Managed cost
  • Maintain employee collaboration opportunities

The role of the company office is expected to evolve to focus more on collaboration and building community

How activity in the office can evolve
Office of the future & remote working
Office of the future & remote working

How PwC can help you the transition from the office to a virtual workforce?

  • A non-invasive approach to pull your existing real estate and employee data and size the prize quickly 
  • Client examples and benchmarks to help you set space and mobility targets objectively
  • Scenario planning and evaluation support
  • Perspectives on shorter and longer term changes and how much you can realized and how fast 
  • Transformative insights on the future of work and employee engagement to help you realize more than a real estate consolidation 
  • Views on employee engagement in a virtual office 
  • Support for redesign and design your office
  • Sharing our own experiences gained during the transformation to the "PwC Office". With our multidisciplinary teams and global network we have a lot of knowledge and experience around this theme. We are happy to help you with the analysis up to implementation


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Contact us

Bas van de Pas

Bas van de Pas

Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 263 83 99

Pieter Smit

Pieter Smit

Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)63 079 74 57