Workspace Trends Pre- and Post-COVID
So much has changed in the workplace, thanks to COVID-19. As workplaces shut down, the new “norm” was working from home. Both employees and employers got used to that. In fact, it’s predicted that 25-30 percent of the global workforce will work remotely by the end of the year.
Before the pandemic, employers had offices that were the “official” space where employees got their work done. Now it looks like many offices will be a secondary space where work is done. This is made possible because of advancements in information and communication technologies. You’re going to see a lot more companies embrace a hybrid work model, allowing employees to work from home part of the time and come to the office the rest of the time.
What is the New Purpose for Offices?
Learning Opportunities: Traditional offices was where knowledge is shared. It’s how employees learn the “culture” of a company. It’s also were training classes are usually held, orientations, specialized classes, apprenticeships and more. Look for most companies to still use their workspaces for this kind of learning.
Encouraging Socialization: Working remotely can result in employees feeling isolated and alone. Virtual meetings just don’t replace face-to-face meetings with co-workers. Companies will most likely continue to use physical office spaces for events that can help create strong bonds between employees year-round.
Organic Collaboration: One of the great things about working in an office is the ability to have spontaneous collaborations around a coffee machine or even in a hallway. Again, you can brainstorm in scheduled ways during zoom, but many companies will want to have employees spend some time in offices to take advantage of unscheduled collaboration. A new term that’s emerging for this behavior is called “hoteling.”
Changes in Workspace Environments
When employees do return to the workplace, they’ll see more emphasis on sanitation. You’ll see more privacy screen, health-friendly materials and antimicrobial surfaces. You’ll also see disinfectant stations. Many companies are choosing to have more of a minimalistic design, without over-the-top décor. You’ll see a reduction in clutter because it requires more cleaning.
Many workspaces will be reduced in size. If a workspace is becoming more of a problem solving and collaboration space, you won’t need as much room. Many companies will be downsizing and decentralizing company headquarters. That said, because employees have gotten used to working from home with a lot of comforts like kitchens, pets, and outdoor seating, many companies will begin to offer more cozy options.
You’ll also see many companies adding spaces with integrated technology like wide screens for video conferencing, furniture with integrated microphones and cameras and interactive white boards,
Talk to An Expert
Desks, Incorporated has been helping Colorado businesses with all their office furnishing needs since 1956. In fact, they’ve designed more than 200,000 workspaces! They can help you find buyers for office furnishings you longer need, or outfit your workspace to fit your post-pandemic needs. Talk to the experts at Desks, Incorporated today.