We’ve all seen them; I was guilty of doing one myself.
LinkedIn polls on the future of work that is. Clicking a thumbs up, love heart or clap on whether we want to permanently work from home, in the office or a mix of the two. The results echoed that of research and surveys with 67% of UK workers1 requesting that their companies to move to a hybrid working model.
So with 66% of business leaders considering redesigning their office space2 to fit this new model here are my top tips to ensure that your office is ready for this new way of working.
1. Create a collaborative office environment
People thrive off people. We bounce ideas off of each other and cultivating a culture of cooperative collaboration can be just as important as your daily to-do list for productivity so it’s no surprise that 67% of employees want more in-person work or collaboration post-pandemic2.
Adding agile furniture to create hotdesking, lounge or workstation formats enable teams to collaborate which in turn can enhance innovation and creativity.
2. Set space aside for focused work
Although some employees will be coming in to see their long-lost colleagues, it is also important to set aside space for those who are in the office to escape from a busy household.
Pods are a great, stylish way to enable individuals to quietly focus and won’t eat up into your office square footage.
3. Make spaces inclusive for both sets of workers
With half the workforce at home and the other in the office it’s important to make sure that both types of workers are accommodated.
Constructing a project-style meeting room and introducing large video walls creates a more visible and impactful way for your employees to communicate.
4. Make it easy
According to a survey conducted by the CIPD 44% of employees feel anxious about the prospect of going back to work due to COVID-193.
Apps which include desk reservation are a great way to help combat this as they allow you to adjust the number of usable desks and capacity for meeting rooms for effective social distancing. Employees can then use an App to find and book available workspaces helping to ease their mind.
5. Keep communication flowing
Strong workplace communication increases productivity and innovation. But it can be difficult to make company-wide announcements when everyone is using different apps and tools.
Introducing an Employee App which allows you to broadcast company-wide announcements, information and reports ensures that everyone stays in the loop – no matter where they are working.
6. Protect your home office workers
When the first lockdown announcement was made, several of my clients rolled their DSE compliant chairs and screens out of the office and to their new home.
However, what many aren’t aware of is that DSE regulations are different for those working in an office and those at home4. If working from home on a temporary basis there is no increased risk however, if this is set to be a more permanent working situation you should arrange for an Interiors Specialist to carry out a home workstation assessment for those employees.
7. Invest in both offices
Whilst making the changes in the work office why not invest in your employee’s home offices?
By giving each employee a budget to spend with one supplier on furniture that will fit their existing home environment you are not only showing them you care – increasing company morale and engagement - but you can also keep control of your office and facilities costs.
Jason Mold is an Office Interiors Specialist at Walters Limited with over 35 years of designing, planning and transforming office interiors to suit individual business models.
1Gensler UK Workplace Survey 2020: https://www.gensler.com/gri/uk-workplace-survey-2020
2Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index: Annual Report, March 22 2021