Over the pandemic many companies moved to working remotely to help prevent the spread of Covid 19. This rapid switch to working from home caused a re-evaluation of the office space or businesses moving offices all together. If the pandemic has taught us anything about our traditional work models, it’s that the office must now serve a much more compelling purpose than just a workstation – it must be a hub of culture, community, and collaboration where ideas and energy can be shared in a way that cannot be accomplished virtually, but also include some of the comforts we like about being at home.
If you’re looking for ways to revamp your office to invite your employees moving back or planning an office move, consider these 5 fall trends for office space planning that keep people safe, engaged, and excited.
1. More enclosed and flexible office workspace options
The popular communal open-space office layout has almost entirely replaced the cubicle and individual office set up. This open space floor plan makes it possible to increase density and collaboration. However, as we move back into the office, open-concept may no longer meet the needs of employees.
While making a safe office space that adheres to the BCCDC guidelines includes opting for hard, easily cleaned surfaces and ways to minimize touchpoints, it also means giving your employees private spots where they can safely work. While we don’t necessarily foresee the full comeback of the cubicle any time soon, open office environments can and should be easily adapted to include smaller private areas where employees can make phone and video calls or focus on individual work safely and distanced.
2. “Hot desks” at the office
Another advantage of having flexible workspace options is that it allows for “hotdesking.” Many offices are moving to hybrid work models where employees can opt to work from home or in the office as an incentive to staff. This means less people in the office on any given day, which opens up a lot of space for employees to move around.
With all this open office space, you may want to consider getting rid of personal desk spaces in favor of hotdesking or opting to recycle your office furniture. Desks and workstations can be easily cleaned and sanitized between uses and employees are able to move and find spaces where they can collaborate, feel comfortable, and focus. This also makes it possible for employers to save money by renting smaller office spaces as they won’t need a desk for every single employee – just the ones that are physically in the office!
3. Moving your office plan to include natural light and greenery
Planning your office space isn’t just about efficiency. If you want your employees to return to work you’ve got to find a way to make them as comfortable as they are in their pajamas – a hard task, we know. Two-big office interior design trends can help with this: incorporating more natural light and plant life.
If your workspace has poor lighting, try using a diffused light or installing artificial light that mimics natural light. Matte flooring and walls are great for reflecting light you do have, making your office workspace a happier, brighter environment.
Moving greenery into your office brings a bit of nature inside and adds a more comfortable, home-like feel to your office. Depending on the plant, greenery can also increase productivity, improve air quality and circulation, and reduce toxins in the office! Safety and comfort – a post-pandemic office win, win.
4. Living rooms in the office
Another way to bring a comfortable, relaxing sense of home to your office is by making office “living room” areas. Adding soft sofas, chairs, and lighting and artwork into your office space can help to create more flexible workspace options and bring a home-like atmosphere to the office that isn’t always present with the standard office desk and chair.
5. Wider walkways in the office
Lastly, when planning your office space, be mindful of your employee’s comfort levels. You may want to maximize your use of space, but having wider walkways that allow employees to physically distance and get around safely is more important than cramming as much as you can into your limited office space.
If you’re getting ready to move offices, design or redesign your Vancouver office space this fall, benefit from DLO’s office moving and office space planning expertise. Contact us by email at email@example.com or phone at 604-254-0135 to see how we can help move or store your office supplies and furniture.