Rethinking business, rethinking workspaces – what’s next?
The office environment post COVID-19
The unexpected global pandemic that is COVID19 has many people rethinking their world and their environments, and the workspaces of the future.
As leading experts in corporate interior design, we thought it time to put together our thoughts on the future of workspaces. Given people and productivity are a product of their environment, we encourage you to consider the following when rethinking your workspace:
- Design-led for connection
Few corporations really understand the role of cultural design when it comes to corporate interiors, yet those who have experienced it, know the difference. When staff are empowered by the space they inhabit, there is more collaboration, fewer sick days, more productivity and raised morale.
Intentionally designed space allows for staff connection and company culture to thrive. Connection with each other, management and clients leads to a collaborative environment. The difference between ‘good-enough’ and ‘excellent’ is the nuances in a design-led environment. It’s these things that many miss consciously, but always feel when you enter a productive and intentional area- this is the magic of a design-led workspace, its affect is long lasting (often the duration of the corporate lease) and appreciated by those who inhabit it. As this knowledge spreads, we expect design-led workspaces of the future to become norm over the exception.
- To hotdesk or not?
Hotdesking is the idea of shared workspaces (desks) that are staged closely together with no one owning that space. While this set up has had mixed reviews over the last couple of years, we think hotdesking can work well for certain types of businesses. Like anything in an intuitive and intelligent workspace, it needs to fit a purpose. Our cultural and shadowing assessments will determine if it’s appropriate for you. Done well, it’s a great option – although implemented without thought and you may find many staff unhappy with the first in-best dressed method. Hotdesking is something we see being effectively implemented in future workspaces – if it’s the right fit for the purpose of the space and the business.
- Flexible workforce
Whether travelling or working from home, the new-age workforce is becoming increasingly mobile and so too must your workspace. Monitors that wirelessly connect to laptops, removable servers and cordless keyboards can all help the mobile worker. Workspaces that have breakout areas available for staff to regroup after a meeting, or places to make a quick desk space where needed are a flexible option. Meeting rooms that are equipped with the right technology to easily ‘zoom’ into conference calls will be necessary, and intelligently utilising space that promotes both collaboration and privacy will be paramount.
- Mobile workspace
Many of our projects in recent years have entirely mobile interiors – meaning all desks and interiors can be transported to the next space should you wish to move. This allows for flexibility as your business grows or needs change. Recent experiences show how flexible we need to be, as the world changes so too does our interaction with the workspace.
- Sustainable design
Recycled materials, upcycled furniture and sustainably sourced materials is the ethos of A1 Office design, although going forward we hope this becomes the norm – not the exception. Our designers have a ‘green library’ and all sustainable materials are on hand. As our world changes and becomes more conscious, workspaces of the future need to adapt and become sustainable.
While none of us really know what the future holds, we know connection (human connection) is important. We know a flexible and supportive workspace is critical, virtual meetings will increase, and great workspaces are essential to human wellbeing. Consider if your current workspace supports all the points above, and if you know that environment affects people and wish to rethink your workspace in line with employee health and company values – contact us today.
Looking to create your own ergonomic home office space? View our new home office packages, available here.