How can we remodel the office to make it fit for Future of Work?
Since last year, headlines such as ‘The Great Resignation’, ‘Office is Dead’, or ‘Remote work is the future’ have provided us with a powerful insight into the future of work. Employees are giving more value to well-being, especially after the lockdown, and companies are under a magnifier on their responses to staff’s personal needs during the economic downturn. What will our working future look like?
To make post-pandemic office spaces more inviting, we are introducing five inspiring ideas that you can incorporate into office design to better adapt to the future of work. Employee-led office design has captured our attention as we found it is not only a solution, but a mark of a progressive, exemplary company. If employers want to retain talent, boost employee morale, increase productivity, and be globally competitive among top talents, they should definitely put this design into practice. The answer is just right down the alley.
Now let’s deep dive into the suggestions:
Dynamic desks offer enough flexibility for employees to be creative in the workplace instead of being confined to just one work desk. With this setup, hot desks are the norm in offices, allowing workers to work from anywhere around the office whenever they drop by, and not be limited to the desk where they are assigned to. It benefits employees with mobility around the office, which can boost productivity and creativity.
Flexi-office spaces refer to creating a working desk outside of a traditional setup. It thoughtfully arranges bar tables and stools with their displays and docking stations in the middle of the corridor, or tall-backed privacy couches with retractable power cords from the ceiling for electricity to establish working hubs alongside traditional workstations. Similar to “dynamic desks,” this concept allows employees to work in a creative environment that allows them to stay focused and has access to desirable resources such as natural lighting or areas with vibrant colour, which makes work more productive and creative.
Multi-purpose workspaces for work or fun use
Multi-purpose workspaces can be used for both work and non-work activities for anyone on the premises. Activities include dynamic team collaboration, brainstorming, stand-up-meetings, or a short break for any individual, all at the employees’ discretion. It means trust, empowerment, and a sense of control for the employees that translates into tremendous psychological safety. Having a multi-purpose workspace is a sign of being a supportive, understanding, and collaborative corporation that takes care of both the productivity and wellbeing of their employees.
Innovative office design
Innovative office design is one of the most attractive refitting in employee-led designs for job seekers. An inventive office design will help employees transit smoothly to the current technological renaissance for work and better transition to the future of work. Some of the ingenious alterations include office pods, automation systems, non-evasive heat-detection cameras, smart-offices, personalised lighting systems, and the installation of 360-degree cameras that can be used to future-proof your premises and the staff teams’ capacities.
Third-party office spaces
Third-party office spaces located in between homes and offices also offer excellent flexibility and mobility for staff to do their work. Employees who live far from the office don’t need to worry about commuting because they can immediately hop into a coworking space vetted by the company. This has become such a popular option that the US is seeing a rise in land prices in suburban areas. Apart from powerful heads-down work, staff can also book meeting rooms for team discussions and client meetings, among other purposes. The third space allows them to make the best use of their time instead of being wasted in the traffic.
Forward-thinking companies like WiredScore and Zoom are now refitting their office spaces in response to their employees’ needs. Let’s look at how they put redesign into practice.
WiredScore believes that the future of work lies in technology and innovation. In response to the current working conditions, various technologies that enable a sense of collaboration are installed. Among those technologies are the installation of 360-degree cameras in all conference rooms to make people who aren’t in the room feel as if they’re part of the meeting; occupancy detection sensors around the office that inform how many (and which) desks are in use; and an integrated desk-booking system in the work-from-anywhere redesign undertaking. .
Zoom is currently in an employee-led designed office space pilot test. One of Zoom’s proof of concept workplaces will be made up of 20% fixed workstations, 20% moveable furniture, 50% rooms created expressly for hybrid collaboration, and 10% communal or kitchen area. This composition, however, can be reconstructed based on user feedback. We can learn a very important lesson from Zoom in the emphasis on experimentation to test and find out, which relies heavily on staff feedback in order to create a desirable work environment genuinely needed by users.
There is no end to office redesign. Business and staff needs are evolving rapidly in this technology-driven century, and it entails tremendous research and empathy. In order to make it a success, we are going to share with you the steps to implementing an employee-led office design in the last part of this series.
Please also read Part 1 of the series to know why we still need office in this remote working norm: The Experiments In Reimagining The Future Of Work (I): Why Office Is Indispensable