What does remote working mean for office design?

COVID-19 has changed the world of work more than anyone would have thought imaginable over the past couple of years.

More of us are working from home than ever, and companies across the globe are expected to incorporate more flexible working methods in order to retain staff and attract fresh new talent.

In a world that is so focused on hybrid and flexible working, what does this mean for the office designs of the future?

Pre-pandemic office design

Before COVID came and changed all of our lives, traditional office spaces had always been designed with function as the priority.

The performance and productivity of our staff was measured by how long they stayed in the office, rather than just the output they were able to achieve in a day.

Fixed desk spaces and quiet meeting rooms were considered highly important to keep workers productive in these traditional designs, and we all got used to this way of working.

Hybrid and home-working has now completely changed what we view as important in our working lives, and these traditional office designs no longer suit the needs of the workforce.

How to entice people back into the office?

Hopefully, the need for full lockdowns are hopefully a thing of the past and whilst many of us are back at home for now previous to this many workers were starting to return to their offices.

But these workers are returning after a long time of working from home and becoming used to a hybrid routine. Their old offices are no longer fit-for-purpose, and as office designers we need to think about how we can make our work spaces fit the changing requirements.

It’s more important than ever for employers to think about how their office spaces entice workers, energise them and give them a stronger connection to the business.

Companies may now have a mixture of people who work in the office full-time, and people who only come in one day a week. Finding a way to satisfy these different employees is a big challenge, but not impossible to solve.

Along with different workspace requirements, the whole culture of 9-5 working is being rejected — especially by younger workers. Instead of sitting in the office for set hours every week, they want the flexibility to manage their own time.

In order to satisfy these needs, workers will expect equipment and spaces where they can do this easily. But how do we offer them this?

What does the future of office design look like?

The design of offices of the future will be very different to the traditional spaces that we had all become so used to before the pandemic hit.

There’s going to be a greater need for face-to-face space to make up for the time spent on Zoom calls and talking over messaging tools.

People will also become more collaborative when they’re in the office, this is because the role of the office has changed.

Workers will do all their independent work at home, and save the tasks that require support and other colleagues for their office days. Providing collaborative areas for them to work on these projects will be an extremely important part of modern office spaces.

The office is going to become a place for workers to engage in group projects, workshop ideas and come up with creative solutions to their tasks. The typical ‘head down’ spaces where workers can work uninterrupted will no longer be such an important requirement in offices — they can do those tasks at home now.

The offices of the future need to be more fluid and flexible to serve the modern workforce. No longer will people see the office as a place for working, but instead an integrated space where they can be productive while getting the social interaction they crave after days sitting at home.

Things like wellness and social responsibility will become a more important aspect; more of us have taken stock of what’s important to us during this unprecedented time and many of us would consider ourselves to be more environmentally-conscious since the pandemic.

Office designers can look to include different sustainable additions to their spaces, for example using rainwater to reduce energy consumption.

Professional and forward-thinking office spaces

If you want to refurbish or redesign your office to accommodate a returning workforce, we can help you!

At SPACE, we’ve been designing and building offices since 2008 and know exactly what it takes to create a space that maximises your employees’ productivity, while enhancing team morale.

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you, our highly experienced team is trustworthy, dynamic and youthful — and always happy to help!

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