The ongoing pandemic has changed how and where we work for good. With many workers and employers now open to home working, what will happen to the workplace? Are the days of the long morning commute over? Will the fight for the microwave at lunch finally end? Here, we answer all those questions and give our top 5 predictions on the future of the workplace.
1. Remote working is going nowhere
Although there may have been some teething problems at first (remember the BBC interview that was interrupted by an energetic child?), it’s safe to say that a lot of us have grown accustomed to it.
Growing in popularity even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees who were forced to work from home now find it preferential to going into the office.
Business will need to be conscious of this and design their workplaces in a way that gives their employees a reason to come into the office, as well as accommodating for fewer people in the building.
Mental health and wellbeing, particularly for younger staff members, will be a key consideration in the design of workplaces going forward. In particular, designs will need to consider way to encourage the use of the space for support, community feel and inclusive engagement.
2. The office is here to stay, but not as we know it
For those who prefer some separation between their work and home life, fear not. The humble office still has a part to play, albeit one that may be considerably different than before.
With remote working potentially impacting the number of employees regularly working in the office, the days of one central HQ may well be numbered.
Organisations will begin to explore alternatives, such as rentable workspaces that offer greater flexibility, or smaller satellite and regional office hubs.
3. Facilities will change
With the stresses and strains the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on us all, the desire for a good work-life balance has risen considerably, and workplaces will have to reflect this shift.
Alongside flexible workstations, there will likely be more of a focus on well-being and making the office an inviting place, as previously mentioned.
Amenities like an on-site gym, cafeterias, and coffee shops will become more common place to encourage employees into the office.
There will also likely be a move towards making workplaces a more collaborative place, with perhaps fewer individual desks and instead larger meeting areas.
4. Personal space will become a premium
Although restrictions have been lifted, the lessons learnt from social distancing will likely remain.
This, combined with the freedom of working from home, will mean that employees will seek that extra space when working in the office.
The layout and design of meeting room and workstations will change to accommodate this, as the days of working elbow-to-elbow with your neighbour are left behind.
5. Modular workspaces will become more commonplace
Although the office still has a part to play, “pop up” workspaces are growing in popularity as well.
There are many companies that are now offering workspaces that are entirely customisable, right down to the layout.
From glass panels that can be used to section off spaces in traditional offices and fast assembling fabric pods suitable for a single worker, to larger scalable set ups that can be modified depending on the number of employees it needs to accommodate.
The future of the workplace is an exciting one, and while the many will attribute the COVID-19 pandemic with these changes, it’s more likely that it sped up an evolution that was on the horizon.
At Quoinstone, we have worked on a wide variety of workplace projects, ranging from entirely new builds to re-fits of listed buildings in the heart of London.
You can see examples of our work here. If you have a project you’d like to discuss with us, contact us today by calling 01962 435 023, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help.