3 post-lockdown design trends all workplaces should consider
It’s safe to say most employers know that things won’t simply go back to normal when their teams return to the office. And while some organisations won’t reopen their offices at all, it’s likely that 89% of UK businesses will opt for a hybrid model where employees work from home some of the time. But these businesses need to consider more than who will return to the office and when.
Three current interior design trends highlight the ways in which employers can help their teams successfully return to the workplace. In this article, we explore how updated approaches embrace the positives of home working and eliminate drawbacks in ways that nurture employee well-being, collaboration and engagement.
1. Introducing the comforts of home
The presence of pets, partners and kids meant that most people had to adjust to remote working. Naturally, they gravitated to the places and spaces where they were most comfortable or worked most efficiently. They mixed things up in ways that felt right. Working from home meant people could find – or create – ideal working conditions throughout the day.
Now, the flexibility and adaptability of home is set to become an important ingredient in a productive workplace.
Giving people options and some measure of control over their environment isn’t just about physical comfort, of course. Varied and adaptable spaces allow for a wider range of activities and reduce the friction between digital and in-person interactions (and meetings where both happen at once).
This trend also sees businesses moving away from minimalist aesthetics. Instead, they’re adopting a cosier, more relaxed look and feel, emphasising tactility and texture.
In fact, we’re currently seeing this play out with our own clients, with businesses opting for wooden desks and soft, woven curtains to increase the warmth and tranquillity of their workspaces.
2. Spaces for interaction and innovation
The ratio of workspace to social space is shifting as employers seek to overcome the feelings of isolation suffered by many remote workers, attempting to create a sense of community amongst their teams.
Increasing opportunities for chance encounters, team-building and collaboration will be a priority in the post-Covid workplace.
And while a generational shift over the last 20 years has meant employees are valued as individuals, not assets, that has been accelerated by the pandemic. Now it’s more important than ever that workspaces invite self-expression and human interaction. It rewards the personal investment they make in their work and increases their commitment to business success.
Creating opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange can benefit the bottom line too. Just take a look at how the tech giants furnish their offices. Introducing ping-pong tables, game consoles and snack bars create conditions for socialising. That gets their smart, engaged employees talking, which leads to innovation and growth.
3. Solutions for headspace and privacy
Without a doubt, the return of face-to-face interactions at work will be a welcome change. That said, there will always be a need for private spaces for focused work. A recent study found that 9 out of 10 people listed a ‘quiet, professional environment’ as one of their primary motivations for returning to the office.
Businesses are now incorporating zones for quiet working – including sound-proof pods – into their office spaces. These distraction-free solutions benefit employees deep-diving into a task.
They’re also ideal for confidential meetings. Online conferencing is here to stay, especially with hybrid arrangements, which mean that people will continue to work with colleagues and clients via Zoom and MS Teams.
The closed-door office spaces of the past aren’t returning, but quiet conditions still play an important role in a productive workplace.
Planning your team’s return to the office?
Get in touch to learn how we can help you to create a positive, productive space for your workforce.