Make the most of your office space
As the world attempts to return to some sort of normality, office space – and the way that we use it – has become a hot topic. While working from home was a huge shift in the spring and summer it’s not, as was suggested at the time, likely to be a permanent and long term option for many organisations. From the lack of interaction to the impact on the potential for collaboration, as well as employee mental health and wellbeing, as the year has worn on we have seen a return to the office become the goal for employees and employers alike. So, with this in mind how do you make the most of the office space that you have?
Use technology to create agility
After the past few months your business is likely to have a good idea of where the technology gaps are and how to fill these to create a more agile approach to working. This will enable your business to allow employees more flexibility and to be more robust should the situation change back to more remote working in future. Make sure you have the basics in place – such as AV amenities and a high-speed internet network – and then add on the technology that your business could use to thrive.
How can you upgrade the physical environment?
Working from home reminded many people how a few small changes can make a workspace feel more relaxing and productive. This is an approach that can be applied to the office too, whether that’s finding ways to let in more natural light or adding plants and stimulating paint colours to create more productive interior environments. As employee health is now a top priority it may also be a good idea to look at how to improve ventilation in an office space, maximise the use of any outdoor areas and make changes to the furniture you use, whether that’s stand up desks or ergonomic chairs.
Give people space to connect
One of the big drawbacks to working from home was the fact that there was no opportunity to socialise or interact with colleagues. This is a major advantage of an office environment and something that you can foster by redesigning spaces so that they promote greater interaction. This could be socially distanced break out areas or allowing for spaces such as printers and coffee points to be somewhere that people can gather safely to chat.
Make change to support mental health and wellbeing
Depression and anxiety have affected a lot of people during the COVID-19 pandemic and this is still ongoing for many. Whether it’s fear for their own health, grieving for the loss of a loved one or dealing with financial hardships we all have a lot to cope with right now. An emotionally intelligent office that takes into account what employees need right now will help to support a more resilient workforce, whether that is fitness areas and gyms or specially designed quiet spaces where people can take five minutes to be still.
There are many ways in which to use the office space you have to support your workforce during the return to work. Check out some of our office fit outs here.