The trends this year are so much more than just rules people should follow to stay ahead of the game. Considering how employees might feel about their surroundings is another element to creating a safe and healthy workplace.
There is a lot more to workplace design than acoustics, textures, and color.
Over the past year and a half, people have been paying way more attention to how they feel about themselves. Taking care of their mental health has become way more of a priority, so that could mean a variety of daily habits changed. For example, wearing casual clothes instead of the traditional suit and tie. Or only coming into the office 3 days a week.
These changes that employees have made, are noticeable. So much, in fact, that business owners have had to rearrange their management styles, office space, and many other elements. To stay ahead of the game, companies have been doing some of the following things:
#1 Office Refurbishment
A popular choice of organizations is to downsize and reduce office space as a response to increased working from home. Since covid could end at any moment, it is more efficient to work with what you have and remodel.
#2 Space Optimization
Instead of getting a new space, corporations will most likely make the best with what they have. Taking into consideration the CDC recommendation to social distance, rearranging furniture is a popular choice.
#3 Design-Led Dividers
Permanent dividers such as glass and acoustical panels will be an integral part of the design to make them sustainable for the future. There are many custom design options for these that include logos, slogans, pictures, or quotes.
#4 Distance Domination
Distance is here to stay. As teams return to work there is the lingering concern about health in the office. Besides air filtration and other precautions, designing distance into the layout is key to a healthy office.
Merging our homes and workplaces ever so slightly, to create a more comfortable corporate environment. In a post-COVID workplace, you might see items such as bean bags, or lounge chairs. A hybrid work environment is highly favorable to most employees.
#6 Open & Clean
Since being apart from each other is one way to stop the spread, having an open plan is a must. Big spaces will make employees feel less claustrophobic resulting in greater productivity. When the work areas are spread out, they are easier to sanitize.
#7 Flexible Furniture
Agile furniture that can be easily reconfigured is the future of furniture. Mobile workstations make employees feel like they have a choice over the design of the office. Optimal performance can be achieved when the employee feels empowered.
#8 Direction Matters
Circular offices are more favorable because the shape has freedom of movement. Round shapes and swirling lines create neutrality in the brain which increases concentration. When designing an office, make sure to include a variety of different shapes, as each one has a different effect on the brain.
#9 Employee Empowerment
Ask the people who will be using the office how you should design it. Employees who feel like they have choices about their workstations will definitely perform better.
#10 The Tech Takeover
To minimize the touchpoints that may spread COVID, many companies have changed how they use technology. This includes making zoom rooms and adding motion-activated doors and lights.