The past two years have changed the way that most people live and work. Working from home or remote working, has become the norm for the majority of us and as we get closer to ‘getting back to normal’ what does that mean for people going back to work and how will it change the design of the office?
The ability to work from home has meant that employees don’t have long commute times resulting in more precious time spent with families or on hobbies they love. However, company cultures have been impacted, working collaboratively, networking and building relationships with our colleagues is much harder when working remotely. As a result; an emphasis has been placed on needing flexibility and balance in the working life. Research carried out by Morgan Lovell in the UK has shown that 88% of people are keen to return to the office with most people wanting to come to their workplace two days (22%) or three days (21%) a week.
The survey showed that the main reasons people wanted to get back into the office was to
- Get team work done (52%)
- Meet and socialise with colleagues (51%)
- Create and share ideas with their team (43%)
- Focus on individual work (20%)
This indicates that while people are keen for interactions and team work, there is also a demand for ergonomically designed workspaces specifically made to help increase concentration and productivity.
So how does a business cater for this new normal? We have all heard the term ‘hybrid working’ being used, which refers to flexibility between remote working and office working. However, hybrid working is only one piece of the puzzle, if businesses don’t rethink their office design and workspace strategy they will be paying for space that’s not getting used; empty desks, unused spaces and employees who don’t feel safe or catered to.
Hybrid workspaces, or one step further, ‘Agile workspaces’ look at a work environment that incorporates flexibility into its design. Moving away from the traditional set up of office space, where every employee might have their own desk or work station, an agile work environment encourages flexible use of space where employees can move and utilise different areas depending on their objectives at that time. It encourages people to use spaces that they feel they can be most productive depending on their specific tasks, giving employees autonomy to choose when and where they want to do their best work.
This method results in increased collaboration, creativity, employee satisfaction and engagement.
As the world has changed, this is an opportunity for businesses to change and evolve as well. Rethinking your office strategy as we move into this next phase, will help increase your revenue and attract and retain the best talent out there. We at Think Contemporary have over 10 years experience in the office design sector and we continue to develop and hone our skills in this area. If you are ready to bring your office to the next level, we would love to hear from you. Contact us today to speak to one of our designers.
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