The Role of Office Design & Getting People Back to the Office
For over a year now, a big question many companies have been thinking about is what the idea of going back to the office would look like once the coronavirus vaccine rolled out and the pandemic started getting under control. Even though the pandemic isn’t over just yet, we’re getting a better idea of what workplaces will be like moving forward.
While some companies have decided to allow their employees to work remotely full time, many others aren’t saying goodbye to their offices just yet. If they’re not planning to eventually return to in-person work full time, they’re often considering a hybrid work model where employees can divide their time between working remotely and working in the office.
When going into the office is optional, convincing people to come back might not be so easy. For some people, the change of scenery and social connections that come with in-person work can be all the convincing they need. But for others, who may have lingering concerns over health and safety or prefer the convenience of staying home, making them want to come into the office can be a tough sell. So what can you do to make the office more enticing?
Considering that many people have reservations about getting back to the office out of health and safety concerns, addressing those worries should be a top priority. This may mean changing your approach to individual workstations so that people can be more spaced out or so that partitions are added between desks to prevent the spread of germs. Or perhaps you could consider implementing touch-free solutions for things like opening doors to minimize the spread of germs. Even after the pandemic is officially over, people will still likely appreciate that these measures help prevent the spread of other illnesses like the common cold.
Collaborative & Social Areas
For many people, one of the things they miss most while working from home is the social connection of being in the office. Collaborative and social areas like conference rooms, lounges, and breakout spaces were already in high demand before the pandemic and they will likely be in high demand as people return to the office, whether it’s on a full-time or part-time basis.
In a hybrid workplace structure, a key reason why people would need to come into the office is so that they can work with others in person, so well-planned collaborative environments are a great way to offer something that people can’t get at home. Think about what exactly people might need to collaborate effectively. This could include convenient access to electrical outlets, improved support for technology, and other tools like whiteboards.
For more social areas like break rooms, think about how these spaces can be made as inviting and comfortable as possible so that people want to spend more time there. Fun amenities like game rooms are a great way to spark social interactions.
Flexibility & Variety
Flexible spaces that include a variety of different working environments are another trend that was big before the pandemic and will continue to be important in helping people come back to the office. When people know their workplace will meet all of their needs, it’s more likely they’ll want to come in. For example, even though many people are likely to come into the office for socialization and collaboration, others may be looking for a place where they can focus without distractions. Being able to work in a space like a private booth can be a welcome alternative to spending time at an individual workstation, giving them the ability to focus without interruption.
Need help creating a workplace that your employees will want to spend time in? Premier Construction & Design can help. Take a look at our portfolio to see some examples of other projects we’ve worked on. When you’re ready to get started, contact us so that we can learn more about your project.