Although the return to the office environment is becoming the normal practice again for businesses across the world, it comes with a complete transformation on the way we work, the way we have adapted socially and physically in such a short period of time whilst tackling the Coronavirus pandemic is key to the ever changing office design trends we expect to see. We’re sharing the three post pandemic office design trends that are emerging for staff working practices, office design and office refurbishments moving forwards.
To maintain good social distancing guidelines and stop a COVID outbreak spreading through the office and beyond, solo workstations have become a popular new way of setting up the office design for the post pandemic working environment. You can design to however you see fit, whether that is creating a more open solo work station, or if you are working with confidential information, you can use partitions to cover the work stations that need more privacy. Although solo work stations hinder the opportunity for collaborative working, they create a safer and more focused space for employees to work, and are seen to help to slow/hinder the spread should a member of staff become infected.
The use of office screens also goes hand-in-hand with this concept and you can read more about our office transmission reduction strategies vie the use os office design and office furniture in our article The Impact Of COVID-19 On The Post-Lockdown Office.
Up to 30% of the workforce are predicted to be working from home part or full time by the end of 2021, so being more flexible with the way your office is set up for the coming and going employees to work freely is essential for a good working environment, post pandemic. Many employees would have been working for most of the last 18 months from a laptop for example, it’s important to allow continuity on the office working days for employees to feel as comfortable in their working space whilst in the office, and offer laptop tables that they can easily set up and work from in the office is a great start for enhancing your office design post pandemic.
There will be many different patterns of working schedules and shifts for employees, so creating an office environment that is flexible and accessible to all, including those who work from home the majority of the time, is essential for moving forward and inspiring employees to work as well and as efficiently in the office as they do so from home. The more accommodating you can be to the needs of your employees, the harder they are likely to work and the easier it will be to keep that level of consistency with their work rate.
HOME FROM HOME
After months of working remotely your team would have adapted to the soft and comforting environment of their own home, so making sure you make the transition from home working to office working a smooth and happy one, adding soft furnishings and home comforts to your office design would have a really positive impact on the working environment moving forward.
Creating a home from home environment is nothing new in modern office design and has been popular even before the pandemic hit, but has now more than ever been highlighted as an important element to add to your office, people don’t want to work in a poorly lit, lukewarm office anymore, and you will see a rapid decrease in productivity and motivation if you allow your employees to return to the office with the hard reality of an uncomfortable, low functioning working environment. Creating a warmer, more homely environment can be achieved at any budget, even the smallest budget can make the biggest difference.