Back to the office – but back to normal or not?
Posted on 11th February 2022
In our industry of office space planning and office design, some workplaces and offices have always been more traditional in look and style with open planned spaces of bench desks, meeting rooms, reception areas for meeting and greeting and closed, smaller offices for management. There have also always been the more quirky and fun workspaces with bars, dart boards and soft seating.
There is no right or wrong way to have your office designed, as long as it is fit for purpose, ergonomically sound and safe and that it also matches your company’s ethics and working ethos. But what else do you need to consider?
What to consider for your office design or revamp in general?
• What is your space like? Eg its size, layout with columns or awkward corners for example. Does the building have restrictions for works?
• What work do you do therefore what space or areas do you need? Is it all desk work or meetings? Is the space you have multifunctional for purpose and numbers wise?
• What is the age of your workforce? What are their needs and likes?
• What is the company culture? What values does the company promote internally and to customers that therefore need to be incorporated into the workspace itself?
• What furniture do you have already or not? What else might you need to build or design the working space you want?
• What budget do you have? Are you going to use what you have or buy all new or a mixture of both? Could you lease furniture or go down the secondhand route?
• What else might you need in terms of flooring, décor, electrics, partitioning and so on? On this, consider your branding and colours, as well as the culture if redesigning or decorating.
What to consider for a return to the office, specifically post pandemic?
• Making people feel comfortable, physically and mentally for a return to the office is key. Perhaps this is why we are seeing a trend for more homely style offices and workspaces including soft seating, plants and so on
• Hybrid working, which we think is here to stay, will perhaps need flexible furniture for hot desking, private areas like pods for one off meetings or people who are distancing and sit to stand desks for comfort and productivity, and again flexibility
• Safety of course is important so you may want to consider screens (acrylic and Perspex) and sanitiser stations
• Also, furniture or a layout which aids distancing
Articles are suggesting many are happy to return to the office, but many want to see changes, such as the more homely look or the hybrid way, to make this transition work for both staff and employers.
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Image is from the Go Acoustic pod range.
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