The movement towards a ‘new normal’ in the workplace has been an evolving conversation over the last two years, encompassing everything from remote and hybrid work, sustainability, employee health to design. As we enter the Spring of 2022, and health and safety restrictions begin lifting in NYC, it is clear that going to the office has changed since before the pandemic. The hybrid office is here to stay, technological integration is expected, and the most resilient workplaces welcoming their employees back to the office are doing so by embracing balance.
Tailoring a Workspace to Fit Evolving Employee Needs
With terms such as “remote burnout” settling into the office lexicon, employees are acknowledging the limits of communicating solely online. Multitasking during back-to-back Zoom meetings is an unsustainable solution, compared with the creative and interpersonal exchanges that occur within the meeting room.
In 2022, employees are expecting their in-person office experience to be tailor fitted to their unique needs. In addition to offering a space for collaboration, employees want the office to be a place where they can be more productive than at their home office. Employers are enticing employees back to the office by offering a balance of experiences. Offices are being redesigned with adjustments to amenities, in addition to incorporating design elements for enhanced privacy or collaboration.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Appropriate Office Design Varies Across Sectors
Design expectations for an office will vary across sectors. At some companies, employees engage in focused tasks with minimal communication, whereas others require continuous collaboration and meetings. Therefore, the appropriate design will vary greatly depending on what is relevant to the needs of one’s team.
Many companies are moving away from the office as a place for solitary work, and instead focusing on enhancing meeting rooms and collaborative areas. However, other companies are investing in privacy, including phone booths and sound minimizing solutions in their design plan, while also increasing the amount of space between desks.
Offices are now required to enhance workflows and be human-centric. What makes the most productive layout is an open-ended question, especially when balanced alongside an evolving staff of remote, hybrid and in-person teams. Reach out to an office design professional for help determining what layout works best.
Strengthening the Bridge Between Remote and In-Person Work
Having a seamless integration between remote, hybrid and in-person employees has become an expectation post-pandemic. Inevitably office layouts evolve alongside technology, and it is far more likely technological integration will be the norm as opposed to less.
Having an office that is fully supported with the appropriate infrastructure to balance multiple working arrangements is critical in today’s office spaces. Fully integrated technology with minimal feedback and appropriate collaborative office design removes the hierarchal barriers between staff members and offers a fully inclusive meeting experience.
Embracing Balance and Flexibility in Your Next Office
Determining the best office design for your team will come down to balance. And while many offices will likely embrace a fully in-person team as restrictions loosen, there will remain a diversity of different approaches taken across different companies. Tailor fitting the solution that fulfills your office requirements in a transitionary period of health and technology will require some creativity and flexibility, however the result will be worth the effort.
OFH is a full-service office furniture and design company, we offer companies of all sizes expert assistance in space planning, design, and office reconfiguration. We are happy to provide guidance at every stage of your project. Reach out to our team for expert help in creating the best possible space for your employees.