MEMBER ADVICE: The Post-Covid Office Space: 5 Future Predictions
The pandemic has dramatically changed the way we work, resulting in questions being asked over the role of the office in the future.
There have been a number of developments in the office design world that give insight into what the future may hold. Rap Interiors have explored some of those developments and how they are shaping the office of the future. Read on for their five predictions
A New Role for the Office Not only has video technology made it possible for businesses to function during the pandemic, but it also has opened their eyes to the possibility of long-term flexible working.
If businesses adopt the flexible model full time, they will have to re-define the role of the office. A hybrid working model will mean the office will be used to host clients, promote the organisation’s culture and provide a space for collaboration. The home, on the other hand, will likely be used primarily for independent work.
Offices That Support Inclusivity One London office is being transformed to support diversity in the workplace. The design takes into account age, gender, technical literacy, physical and cognitive ability and culture. It will also provide hundreds of “unassigned” workstations to fit different work and personality preferences.
Another interesting aspect of the design is the emphasis on connecting young and old. The office will include a hub where older generation can teach younger generations and vice versa.
A Rise in Co-Working and Flex Offices The pandemic will undoubtedly give rise to more freelancers and start-ups, so we expect to see spaces popping up to cater to the growing “gig economy”.
While co-working and flex offices were on the rise before the pandemic, it is likely we’ll see an acceleration in this working model. In fact, we learned recently that one major shopping centre has recently applied for planning permission to convert two former retail spaces into flexible offices.
Offices Geared for Better Wellbeing Businesses will learn some valuable lessons from the pandemic in terms of addressing physical and mental health and how it has been impacted due to COVID-19 and therefore shaping the wellbeing of the future workplace. Here are a few considerations:
Improved Air Quality
A Hybrid Approach
A Re-Defined Use of Space Some offices will likely take on a new role due to a rise in flexible working and for some businesses, this will mean that there will be some space left over to play with.
One solution to optimise an unused space will be to “sub-let” a portion of the office. This requires permission from the landlord and, if granted, can be a shrewd way of optimising the extra space.
Others may simply keep the space to themselves but hire a refurbishment company to create an agile environment.
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As refurbishment contractors, we’re looking forward to seeing — and being a part of — further developments as we move closer to a post-COVID world.
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