Before lockdown, many trendy workplaces had recognised that workers were spending an awful lot of time there.
They responded by adding in extra ‘fun’ – ping pong tables, for instance, and even in one case a slide from one floor to another. Some provided snooze pods for exhausted workers who needed to crash.
Today’s post-corona office will have to go beyond these gimmicks to become THE place to work – no-one’s going to be there long enough to need a nap.
There are ways to lure people away from the cosy pleasures of homeworking – and they all centre on being sociable
Human beings enjoy face-to-face interaction; it’s less strained than video or audio contact, and easily promotes friendship, teamworking and innovation.
That’s something that is hard to build and maintain by video. And so is the innovative value of chance encounters where colleagues spark ideas off each other – that’s a buzz everyone appreciates.
Workplaces will need to think hard about how their space can offer extended opportunities for being sociable (with social distancing incorporated, of course).
Mixing up building use
In future, it’s likely that homeworking will be more common than previously, and organizations will be rethinking their corporate real estate.
When this is added to the need to create a pleasant and enticing place to work, they’ll be taking a good look at how their office buildings can take a different shape.
Offices will be transformed into places to chat, to take part in an event; there’ll be shops to browse safely; even places to live – repurposing some no longer needed space as accommodation not only creates an income stream but also increases footfall.
Making the transition to the office seamless
Getting people into the office from home now needs to be as easy as possible, given the temptation to work from the kitchen v tackling a long commute.
Enabling staff to book a tailor-made desk or meeting space via an app, then check into it and out again using a QR code, removes an unpopular obstacle to getting on with the day’s work.
Helping your space to be flexible
Your available space is going to be even more flexible than before.
Flex space is office space that can be repurposed quickly and easily to match changing requirements – for meetings, for individual workstations, for brainstorming…
But unsupported flexibility can look a lot like chaos, and that’s never efficient.
Workspace technology combines safe and responsible control with maximum space utilisation – and creates reports that inform sensible and responsive planning decisions as requirements continue to evolve.