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Office Design in the New Age

The global pandemic has shown us the need for evolution in our ways of working and our workplaces. Remote work has been part of many organisational workplace strategies for some time now, but this crisis has allowed us to fully understand and adapt to the new normal. In new office trends, the rapid evolution of office technology is reshaping the traditional workspace and smart businesses know how to keep up.

Our collective experience of remote work has led many companies to allow employees to work from home permanently. But working from home all the time may not be the best option for everyone. Research shows that employers are facing difficulties with everyday remote work and employees are either burnt out or facing issues with productivity.

How will remote working transform office design?

Remote work will undoubtedly have a place in many of our lives but the workforce will also need a place where they can connect both with customers and their work colleagues for at least some of the working week. Businesses need to adapt and re-imagine work environments and create a flexible design to cater to the new needs of the workforce.

While a section of the workforce may be remote working, a team still needs a location where they can meet and collaborate. How do we design a space when a significant portion of your workforce uses it rarely or not at all? Here are a few workplace and design strategies for offices that will be adopted by companies for their remote workers:

De-centralised offices

Companies are seeking a distributed network of third spaces that are local, to support people who can’t work from home but aren’t yet ready to use public transportation. Smaller de-centralised offices or a co-working space give the option of working in hubs across a city where they can walk to or bike to, it cuts down on commuting times and car emissions.

The new office design must have the technology features that connect your remote workforce with other key areas of your business. Companies are investing in conferencing software that allows team members to meet anywhere. Your flexible office design must be willing to cater to people whether they work from home, a cafe, the office, or potentially anywhere in the world. Technology calls for the demand for intelligent and dynamic space planning strategies.

Acoustically sound spaces

When employees come into the office, they often feel like their home is quieter. In a noisy, open office, distractions are everywhere. Many companies are investing in acoustic panels. These additions absorb sound, where a hard surface would create echoes. A lot of collaboration is happening in conference rooms, using video conferencing software and with remote working, the number of such spaces will need to increase.

Acoustics are essential in making our surroundings enjoyable by minimising noise, controlling reverberations and general improving the quality of the acoustic environment in office interiors. The Piano Acoustics range of screens, wall tiles, private booths, suspended panels and patterned dividers in the Social Spaces portfolio from Dams provides open plan offices, meeting areas and breakout spaces with multiple levels of acoustic absorption which are not only colourful and modern additions to the office aesthetics, but are also pertinent to the task at hand in each area.

More lounge and breakout areas

Flexible office design is creating more breakout space and lounge areas for their employees to work productively. Not everyone performs their best work from the traditional desk and chair design. The flexible office design is laid back. In fact, for employees that perform their best work in quiet areas soundproof work pods are becoming the norm. Workers will want the experience of working in the office to be as close as possible to what it’s like to work from home.

As more employees are working remotely, the traditional assigned desk for everyone is quickly fading. For staff who are working remotely and who are coming to the office, hot desking will be an apt choice. In fact, many offices are being designed to cater to collaborative workspaces and unassigned seating for remote workers that are in and out of the office. Many offices are geared towards clustered desks which insight teamwork and collaboration.

Activity-based working increase creativity, productivity, and collaboration. As a flexible office design, it gives employees workspace options. Activity-based office design is creating an office that enhances efficiency. The traditional erogenous office design has shifted towards collaboration and productivity too by including a flexible office design.

In conclusion

As the world adapts to life during a pandemic, there are certain steps businesses can take now to prioritise the well-being and productivity of employees, as well as to make sure they’re using their workspaces efficiently. Office design has changed considerably over the past ten years and will continue to do so with the adaptation of remote work. Businesses should design their office for optimal creativity and relaxation, no matter how often their staff is physically present.

When workers are primed to expect more comfortable work arrangements, a focus on technology, relaxation, and other popular amenities can draw employees to your office. Flexible workplaces are becoming the new normal and your business must create or re-design their space to fit the new era.