The pandemic has forced businesses of all sizes to re-evaluate how and where their employees work. For many, that has meant making changes to their office space. Some companies have downsized their brick-and-mortar footprints and are relying more heavily on remote work. Others have made changes to their office layouts to promote social distancing or invested in new technology to improve communication among employees who are spread out.
You’re not alone if you’re thinking about making changes to your office space. Here are some of the most popular trends that are seen in the industry right now.
Open Floor Plans
The traditional cubicle-based office layout is so yesterday. Cubicles are known to lead to lesser communication among employees. So these days, employers are looking for ways to promote collaboration and creativity among their employees—and an open floor plan is a great way to do that. Open floor plans also allow employers to make better use of their square footage and allow for more natural light and airflow, which can create a more pleasant work environment. Here are three steps to get started.
The first step is to remove any cubicles from your office. This might seem daunting, but it can be an opportunity for employees to work together more efficiently and get to know each other better. To make the transition easier, consider having a series of team-building sessions during which everyone can work and learn how to collaborate in new ways.
Use Team Tables
Next, you should start investing in tables that can accommodate multiple employees. This will allow your team to break into smaller groups and tackle projects together. In addition, team tables can help foster creativity and collaboration among employees, leading to better productivity.
Consider Flexible Seating Options
Finally, invest in flexible seating options that allow employees to choose where they work best. This might mean providing various seating options, from standing desks to comfy chairs. Employees will enjoy having the freedom to choose where they work best, and you’ll benefit from increased productivity and collaboration among your team.
Office furniture needs to be more versatile than ever before, thanks to the pandemic. As a result, more companies are seeing many clients invest in furniture that employees can easily reconfigure to accommodate different working styles or more (or fewer) people in the office at any given time. Here are two types of flexible furniture being used right now.
As space becomes necessary in offices during the pandemic due to social distancing standards, a combination of open floor plans and multipurpose furniture can solve that problem. This includes desks that transform into conference tables, soft seating that serves as a communal area when needed, and even taller shelving units that pull out to accommodate standing meetings.
Another popular trend in office design is modular furniture, which allows you to mix-and-match pieces, such as desks and soft seating, in the space to create customized layouts that work for your team. Depending on how many people work remotely during the pandemic, you may even consider modular furniture that provides more options for private spaces without taking away from a sense of community.
Office space is expensive, and nowadays, if offices need more space, they need to expand vertically. This means looking into architectural solutions such as mezzanine levels or even expanding the height of the overall building if possible.
The cost-saving potential and flexibility of doing this, especially during a pandemic when offices may suddenly seem too small for their usual setup, makes it an ideal choice for many businesses. However, the contractors you choose must have the right rigging equipment when working on such a project. They must have robust chain slings to handle their load and the proper hoists to ensure your company’s expansion goes smoothly. This can reduce accidents during the pandemic and even make it more efficient.
The pandemic has demanded a lot from businesses, but it’s also an opportunity to focus on employee wellness and happiness. One aspect of this is biophilic design or using natural elements such as plants, sunlight, and water in your office space to create a healthy environment for employees. This can improve moods and help reduce stress during the pandemic.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to workplace trends—it all depends on your business’s specific needs and goals. But by considering some of the latest trends, you can create a workspace that promotes productivity, creativity, and innovation—and helps your business thrive well into the future.