How will the office adapt for the future?

Creating The Future Workplace – How Will The Office Adapt?

Before the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, larger offices were typically lines of desks in an open plan arrangement. Upper management might have had the privacy of a separate office, but any other meetings would be held either at a colleague’s desks or in the boardroom, when it was available.

The pandemic has become a catalyst for change in how businesses operate. For the past year, workers have become accustomed to working from home, communicating with colleagues and customers via virtual platforms and, with everything at their fingertips on a laptop, they have been able to freely move around, working from a desk, a garden table or a comfortable armchair.

As disruptive as Covid-19 has been to businesses, it has also highlighted the benefits of a more flexible working environment and wellbeing at work. As your company plans to return to office-based working, now is a perfect opportunity to consider how those benefits can reshape your workplace.

Where will your people prefer to work?

Peace in a pod

Why not help them realise their full potential for productivity and engagement by offering a choice of working environments?
They may prefer to work in a quieter space – that doesn’t mean they’re not a team player! Some people simply work better without visible and audible distractions. A soundproofed pod equipped with an empty desk, comfortable chair and a laptop connection point will create the ideal environment for them to flourish.
Pods also provide a suitable location for anyone working with sensitive information, so you can be sure your customer data is GDPR protected and your secret new projects remain secret.

They also provide a perfect venue for individuals on video calls – that’s probably something we’ll keep long after Covid – as they can talk and listen without distracting the rest of the office.

Don’t stand for sitting down

Frequent changes in posture during the day are proven to improve back health and circulation. Height-adjustable desks allow workers to move between standing and sitting at the touch of a button. In the standing position and with the chair moved out of the way, a height-adjustable desk can also create a convenient place for teams of two or three to collaborate or view presentations without having to bend down to look at a waist-height screen. Fixed, standing-height work surfaces are also good if they like to hot-desk or need somewhere to recharge their laptop or phone, and they take up less space than a conventional desk.

It’s also a good idea to provide soft seating such as armchairs and sofas, where your people can take their laptop and keep working while taking a break from their desks. This is also useful for field-based salespeople who spend little time in the office, but need somewhere to work when they do come in.

Got to keep on moving

The key to successful modern office design is flexibility, as needs will change as a business evolves.
At Calibro Workspace, we offer a range of mobile solutions that will ensure your office will stay relevant and efficient for many years to come.

How will they collaborate?

Teamwork is the secret to all business success, whatever the size of the organisation, so it’s important to create areas where your teams can meet easily and collaborate efficiently.

Let meetings go by the board

If a boardroom is used frequently, meetings may need to be scheduled ahead of time, and interrupted by another meeting if they overrun. A series of small booths that can accommodate groups of six to eight people is more space-efficient, less formal and more accessible.

If you come to a wall, use it

A whiteboard wall or interactive widescreen is excellent for daily team huddles, presentations, brainstorming sessions and other collaborative groups.

A small auditorium area with soft bench seating surrounded by standing room can keep quick presentations short and longer presentations comfortable, bond small gatherings and accommodate larger ones.

Create a home from home

Soft seating also provides a great opportunity for people to collaborate. Combine it with a coffee point and they’ll enjoy it so much it will hardly feel like work!

How will they socialise?

Workplace wellbeing has also come into the spotlight during the last twelve months, and this has a major impact on higher employee engagement and productivity while reducing absenteeism and sick days.

Breakout zones such as coffee points, canteens, dining and soft seating areas will let your people switch off, recharge and socialise during break and lunch times, and then return to their work revitalised.

How can you plan the right office for your company?

  1. Speak to us – we can advise you on the many options available and show you examples of previous projects for inspiration.
  2. Share these options with each of your people and ask them how they prefer to work – the one-size-fits-all workspace is a myth!
  3. Ask us to create a solution that addresses all the needs and considerations from your feedback.

If you would like help to reconfigure your office in Northern Ireland or the Irish Republic, call us today:

Belfast Office:   +44(0)28 9442 5200


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