With businesses preparing for the return to work, we asked Oktra’s Design Director David Bishop, Pre-Contracts Manager Sarah Edwards, and Computacenter’s Workplace solution Leader Adam Kelly to give their insights into how the workplace is changing.
In the latest video of our Future Office Series, our experts outline the working models of the future, describe the features of a successful workplace, answer some commonly held misconceptions, and even offer a timeline to help businesses navigate the future of work. Read on to learn more about the change and choices businesses are facing, or watch the LinkedIn Live video below.
As our working culture shifts, so will the working models we implement across our workforces. With well-known companies like Google, Microsoft and Dropbox all embracing flexible ways of working for their teams, we anticipate that these emerging models are set to reshape the traditional 9 to 5. There are three core models defining work post-pandemic: the hybrid model, the hub and spoke model and the distributed model.
Many of the shifts towards different working models and workplace strategies were already taking place before COVID-19 and the rise of remote and flexible working. As we return to work, reading these trends accurately and knowing what’s changing in the workplace is crucial to providing the right environment for your teams. The five main features of a successful workplace are:
Your employees’ primary focus when returning to work will be whether their workspace is safe to return to. COVID-conscious design elements like appropriate wayfinding, furniture solutions, building social distancing into your design, and installing handwashing stations in high traffic areas and touchpoints will help ease any anxieties, and enable your staff to focus on being the best at what they do.
The workplace of the future will likely be designed to support a hybrid, hub and spoke, or distributed working model, and so will need to facilitate new and different working strategies. Agile working environments and flexible, customisable spaces will help ease employees’ return by providing the freedom of choice that has come to define current ways of working.
Digital communication technologies have helped us to bridge affinity distance and maintain collaboration even in the most difficult of situations. As we return to our offices, these systems will remain crucial, but we will also begin to use smart building technologies to optimise our spaces, by putting intelligence into how our rooms are heated, ventilated and lit, and linking these operating systems together to continually maximise efficiency and measure how our spaces are used.
What we miss most about the office is collaboration and our social interactions with each other. With a combination of flexible and remote workers, the central office hub will be essential to cultivating a sense of collective ownership and shared company mission, as well as providing an environment for organic networking, mentoring, and liaising with clients.
COVID-19 has brought the importance of our employees’ wellbeing to the fore. In order to support their staff and entice them back to the office, employers will need to bring wellbeing-focused design elements into the office. Sustainable design is a part of this, but is also an ethos that will permeate each part of a successful workplace as the world realises the value of sustainable workplace design and construction.
As workplace strategies and employee needs continue to shift, some of the most useful insights are the next steps you can take as a business towards a new approach to working. Navigate the now, next and future using the following action points.
Our LinkedIn Live discussion between in-house industry experts Design Director David Bishop and Pre-Contracts Manager Sarah Edwards, as well as guest Workplace Solution Leader Adam Kelly of Computacenter, provides professional insights on how office design and working models are changing in the future of work. Watch this conversation between our industry experts to find out more about the workplace of the future, and the ways your business can continue to grow.