Returning back to the office has many forms!
Why go back when you feel you’re just as productive in the comfort of your home?
Why go back when your co-workers are too close for comfort?
Why go back when you can’t control the temperature & brightness & acoustics of your own workspace?
Employers are responding by finding creative ways to make the workplace more inviting, more functional. Designers are exploring how the workplace should change to be more comfortable, have more personality, and better support collaboration & productivity.
It is now on designers to help companies get their employees to love coming into the office.
Some of the major factors that play a role in returning to the office workspace include sense of belonging, comfort, and wellness. People want their workspace to reflect their personality, and for the organization they work for to reflect what they stand for. Socially conscious? – show me how! Working for a modern society?– the office should show what that looks like. Have a sustainability focus? – Where does that impact the design of your own workplace environment?
Hotelling is one way that companies are trying to make sense of the continued absence from the office of their employees. Hotelling involves optimizing the number of workstations to suit how many people actually are in the office on any given day. Each employee must book a desk, and / or meeting space, for the day they will be in office. Despite the much-touted space efficiency, hotelling can deplete the feeling of permanency and of being valued as an employee. Many prefer to have their own dedicated space – having an option of bringing family photographs, plants, and small stationaries from home brings joy and comfort.
In an effort to make workspaces more interesting, offices are shedding the cubicle, and introducing more individual options such as phone booths with high acoustic privacy; meeting spaces with lounge furniture – sofas, club chairs & fauteuils, a range of lighting options, built in data ports.
When it comes to comfort, lounge furniture is a must. This can take the form of dedicated rooms for hanging around the water cooler or coffee bar, or furniture just placed effectively within the open space plan. What better way to take a break from your desk than by laying on a beautiful sofa?
Would this bring you back to the office or would you rather stay home?