Design for True Flexibility
A dynamic environment allows for endless flexibility and easy transformation. Flexible design is by no means a new concept, but it is one that will be a differentiator for resiliency planning. Over the last decade of design, there has been a transition in design from cubicles to an increase in open workstations and shared furniture in common areas. These concepts are being rethought.
Shared neighborhoods characterized by community farm style tables that bring teams together or booths to socialize in the centralized café will see a change towards a more modular design. Furniture and spaces that can change on a whim. The idea to have interchangeable, easy to assemble furniture pieces that can be a change with workflow and tasks being performed throughout the day.
Incorporating the Home Office
COVID-19 forced us to develop a work from home policy and procedure overnight. Through this, many organizations and employees found that productivity and work efficiency for some functions could be enhanced.
Harnessing these learnings and applying what worked and what didn’t to long-term, sensible policy can help safely disperse teams, reduce capacity, increase employee retention and recruitment, and ultimately create the most productive and collaborative workspace – both within the office and at home.
We see the home office becoming an extension of the workplace, extending organizational culture into the home, not the other way around. Professional stations at home that can facilitate the collaborative requirements needed to maintain productivity while encouraging the idea of choice and freedom of space to do the work that best suited for that environment, in the right environment.
The Rise of Touchless Technology
From door handles to the central printer and shared iPad’s, everyday touchpoints will have to be revamped. Shared technology in the workplace environment is going to be phased out and personal devices will become essential to minimize the number of people handling a single item.
We will see a rise in voice-activated controls, VR, and touchless tech. Technology that can connect teams from anywhere will be a necessary investment and integrated into the workplace to ensure connectivity and collaboration in any environmental scenario.
An engaged team is a more productive and overall happier team. The workplace emulates the brand of an organization and enhances connection, both for physical gatherings but virtual meetings.
As teams see an increase in remote work, collaborative spaces like conference rooms need to be redesigned around technology to ensure that teams are able to connect on-demand within the workplace and outside of the workplace.
Wellness – The New Amenity
Health and wellness standards like WELL and Fitwel will become the norm for the health and safety of society. Offices need to be considered as a place that promotes the holistic wellbeing of its inhabitants’ including their physical, mental, emotional, and medical health. For landlords and building owners, this is the new battleground for attracting new tenants. For corporate tenants, health and wellness amenities are a necessary benefit and strong recruitment tool.
A healthy building considers the cognitive function, physical function, and emotive responses of those within the environment. Introducing biophilic elements, increasing access to natural daylight and increased line of sight have been proven to increase performance, positive attitude and employee engagement, and remain important elements to factor into a healthier environment but other wellness requirements, such as increased outside air circulation and air purification and regular deep cleanings will become important trends to amplify the overall element of wellness within the workplace.