Our relationship with the office has changed, and with it our concept of what an office is and what we expect from it. Here are five interior design trends for hybrid workplaces you can implement to keep your team happy and productive when they are not WFH.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, our expectations and requirements of the office shifted dramatically. It was no longer somewhere we had to be, all of the time. It became, instead, a place where we wanted to be, some of the time – when it made sense, for us or our teams – and with that came new challenges.
According to TravelPerk, over 76% of workers have confirmed a shift to hybrid work. This part-remote model helps employees to juggle familial responsibilities, bring more flexibility to their schedule and help their orgs reach sustainability goals.
With that said, the office remains the central hub and ‘home’ of our work lives – but gone are the days of impersonal cubicles and uninspired decor. How can we make sure the hybrid office is somewhere we want to be?
Follow these five design trends to make your hybrid office a home away from home.
With fewer people working in the office on any given day, many companies are using less office space, or are devising ways to use the space they have more efficiently. This might be something as simple as creating a hot-desking plan, or as complex as bringing a photographic studio in-house.
Whatever the reason, smaller, trendier offices are perfect for the hybrid model. They cost less to rent, create smaller utility bills and require less upkeep with regards to furniture and other maintenance. For maximum convenience, you could work with a property partner and move into a serviced office, where everything is taken care of for a monthly fee.
The office is no longer seen as a place where we grind out endless reams of paperwork or plod through our inbox. With hybrid working, almost all of that can be done far more efficiently at home. Instead, it’s become a place for people to gather and collaborate in smaller groups.
To facilitate this, many businesses are moving away from 100% open plan and creating intimate collaboration areas where people can meet in comfort to discuss projects and ideas. These areas need to be bright, comfortable and airy, with high quality furniture and technical equipment so people working remotely can also join in and contribute.
News surrounding Covid might be less than it has been, but that doesn’t mean the virus itself – nor its harmful psychological effects – have gone away.
Ensure your team members feel safe when working at the office by ensuring all of your office furniture and fixtures are easy to keep clean. This means lots of smooth, wipe-clean surfaces that can be disinfected regularly. Another nice touch is to install hand-cleaning stations that people can use as and when required.
The majority of workers now appreciate how much work can be completed at home, in the comfort of familiar surroundings. How can we ensure the office reaches the same standard?
Comfort is the big one. You need a range of furniture so that people can move around (perhaps even lie) down and work in different places. You also need to make the most of natural light and greenery – studies show that houseplants can improve productivity by up to 15%.
Above all, make it so that your team feels that the office is their own. Let them customise it. Give it a unique stamp. This isn’t only for them – these unique stamps and little individual expressions, when considered collectively, make up your company culture.
Last but certainly not least is the need for up-to-date, fully-functioning technology and equipment. Pre-covid, we could get away with a patchy Skype connection or fuzzy telephone call, but in a hybrid working environment we need our communications technology to be perfect.
What does this mean in practice? Well, high speed WiFi accessible in every room is an absolute prerequisite. Furthermore, digital conferencing facilities for large groups and collaboration is also essential, which could include monitors, sound systems, cameras and headphones. To help you along, all of WorkPad’s serviced offices come complete with super-fast fibre internet.
As more companies embrace hybrid working we’ll see constantly evolving design trends that meet the changing needs of teams and industries. For now, the hybrid office fundamentals above can help you to set up a successful workplace that your team will enjoy and be productive in.
Creating a hybrid office can be an exciting but daunting prospect. With our bespoke service, our in-house designers will help you to bring your vision to life – guiding you through the process until you have a hybrid workplace you can be proud of, and your team want to work in. Find out more about our bespoke design services.
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