Covid-19 took the world by storm, one of the deadliest viruses the globe has seen for decades, and it has left an effect that we continue to feel even now, over a year since the worst of the infections have subsided. But have you ever stopped to think about the changes such a virus has made in the world? Especially the world of business and work?
If your business has recently been returning from Covid, you might be wondering how to design your office with the new thoughts and feelings your staff will have in mind; a lot of companies choose to stay working from home, but most are now integrating a hybrid working format to accommodate staying flexible with getting back to some normality.
With so much change in the world lately, knowing what will work best for you and your team can be challenging. You can keep a few things in mind as you get started. Our team here at Fusion Office Design have been designing hybrid office spaces for several years, and since Covid-19, we have had to develop our skills and understanding of what businesses want and need.
If you would like to discuss your office design service, speak to our team today; if not, let’s dive into how Covid has changed the office dynamics.
How Has Office Working Changed Since Covid-19?
The pandemic has resulted in a fundamental change to the way we work. Employees now work remotely from home instead of commuting to an office daily, but we are now seeing a slow shift back to office work; the novelty of working from home permanently has started to wear off, and office workers are looking to go back, but only if the office environments suit the needs of the workers.
Due to lockdown restrictions, many businesses have been forced to close their physical offices. Even when offices are open, many employees choose to work from home to avoid the risk of exposure to the virus. Still, now that the risk is minimal from Covid-19 infections, workers are choosing to return to offices that offer flexible, dynamic working options; that is what our team here at Fusion Office Design specialise in.
Office designers must now create spaces accommodating remote and on-site workers. This means incorporating private meeting rooms, dedicated workspace areas, and breakout rooms for relaxing and recuperating. Maybe you have considered an office-fit out to transform your office space?
You may not expect such a room in an office space, but with people becoming acclimated to working from home, they will also have gotten used to taking ten or fifteen minutes here or there when they need a break.
Having a dynamic office space is the only way you will manage to keep your employees happy and willing to come to work.
What Office Design Trends Are Emerging?
The pandemic has also spurred the development of new office design trends. One such trend is the use of biophilic design. This involves incorporating elements of nature into the office space to boost employee well-being.
Another popular trend is the use of modular furniture. This type of furniture is easy to reconfigure, making it ideal for offices that need to be adaptable. Having a dynamic office is an excellent way of helping bring your staff back into the office; you can move office furniture around to work for the needs of the business every day instead of following the old-school static furniture options.
Hybrid offices are the stand-out design trend. Hybrid is much more flexible with many styles and nodes for working. The dominance of desks is massively reduced. Freeing up space not only allows people to work in any way they want…in teams, flying solo or collaborating across physical and virtual…it also frees up the designers to add personality and character. Hybrid interiors are more aligned with nurturing environments. When 50% or more of the office isn’t desks the possibilites are so much greater.
What Does the Future Hold for Office Design?
The pandemic has had a significant impact on office design. However, it’s important to remember that this is not the first time that office design has had to adapt to changing circumstances. For example, the rise of the home office in the late 20th century led to a shift in office design trends.
Its likely that the design pendulum will swing back a little towards more desk space, but only marginally. Nurturing and flexible spaces are actually really great places to work. Our crystal ball gazing predicts a need to be flexible. Add desks, reduce desks. But always be prepared for change and ensure the office fit-out supports adaptability.
Office designers like ourselves here at Fusion Office Design can transform our designs and ideas to match the current climate of office spaces; no matter what you are looking for, we can help create the space you and your team deserve.
Offices Need To Be More Proactive
One of the main aspects we have changed when planning our office designs is that they need to be easily cleaned. This means using materials that can be wiped down, avoiding carpets where possible, adding more hand-sanitizing stations, providing easy access to cleaning supplies, and removing unnecessary surfaces. This concept will not work for every office space, we are open to working on specific design ideas with companies, but we recommend removing unnecessary surfaces.
We also need to think about the ventilation in the office space. If possible, increasing the amount of fresh air coming into the space will help to reduce the spread of germs.
Another important aspect is to create more collaboration areas. This way, team members can easily communicate without being nearby. This could be anything from large meeting rooms with plenty of space to smaller huddle rooms where a few people can meet.
Overall, the goal is to make sure that your office design is flexible enough to adapt to any changes that might come up in the future.
Our Office Designs Remove “High-Risk” Zones
The term “high-risk” is often used to describe areas in an office that are more likely to transmit germs and illness. These areas are usually where people congregate, such as meeting rooms, break rooms, and reception areas, and it also refers to aspects of the office, such as door handles.
At Fusion Office Design, we can help you identify these high-risk areas and redesign them to reduce the risk of transmission. For example, we might recommend adding more windows to a meeting room to improve ventilation or reconfiguring the layout of a break room to create more space between employees.
Another option is removing door handles; with technological advancements, we can add automatic office doors, kick doors or swinging doors, meaning you reduce the number of times you need to touch door handles. A covid-19 survey at the height of the pandemic learnt that Covid germs could live on a door handle for around 30 minutes! We don’t feel that is safe for office workers and want to do something about it.
Focus On Employee Well-being With Office Design Solutions
The way we work is changing, and so should our office design. We’re spending more time indoors than ever before, which means the quality of our indoor spaces directly impacts our health and well-being.
Office design solutions focusing on employee well-being can help create a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.
Simple changes to the layout and design of your office can make a big difference to employee well-being. For example, increasing the amount of natural light in the workplace or adding plants can help to improve air quality and boost mood levels.
Creating more opportunities for social interaction and collaboration can also help to improve employee well-being. This could involve adding breakout areas or installing standing desks to encourage movement throughout the day.
Covid-19 has taken every business country to take a step back and analyse the processes they follow. Are your employees happy in the office environment they currently have? If not, what can you do about it?
As a culture, we must work together to reduce the risk of stress and anxiety staff members feel coming back into office spaces after a global pandemic such as Covid-19; that is why having an in-depth consultation with our designers will benefit you massively.
Improve Connectivity In The Workplace Through Dynamic Design
We understand that returning to an office space is daunting for some. Natural light and biophilic design ensure your employees’ seamless return to work. Our experts have a wealth of experience in designing workspaces that increase productivity and connectivity in the workplace.
Even if your office space becomes more of a pod effect business, whereby each staff member has their own space, we can help bring this pod culture together through connectivity. Over the past couple of years, many companies have branched further into remote and online working. Still, with virtual office spaces, breakout rooms and areas where staff can relax, we can help break those barriers down together.
Contact Fusion Office Design For Dynamic Offices Today
We are passionate about helping our clients create healthy and productive work environments at Fusion Office Design. If you’re returning from Covid-19 or have recently been impacted by the pandemic, please get in touch with us for a free consultation.
We understand some businesses are still reluctant to move back into the office. Still, we promise you will get the office you need to stay safe when choosing Fusion Office Design as your interior designer.
Our team of experts can help you design an office that is dynamic and conducive to your needs. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we have the knowledge and resources to help you get back to work as quickly as possible.