Getting back to normal. Just how often have we all used that phrase. The regular rhythms of workplace have been disrupted over the last three years. Many of us are challenged with transitioning away from WFH and back to the office.
Revisiting routines that previously formed our days. For some the vault back to office working, commuting, and traditional behaviours that go with them, may be more exhausting than we can recall.
How can employers get these rhythms re-established? Incorporating elements of wellness; boost the level of service to rekindle those memorable collegiate good-times; get the shared experience and knowledge front and centre and re-position the office as a creative, even restorative, place for gathering and development.
Moreover how does a physical presence in the office craft experiences again when 3 and 2 still persists. Perhaps spaces that heal, that add improved service, and bring easy-to-access tech that makes the commute worthwhile all play a leading role.
The use of workplace hospitality can be a star player in rebuilding our future work experiences and boost the draw back into the office.
To better attract, engage, and reconnect with people in the workplace, it‘s a win-win for organizations to adopt some of the hospitality practices that get people through the door. Seeing staff as guests can be a start.
Looking at the experience is essential, and a hospitality-centric approach brings with it a tripartite solution that includes service, spaces, and tech.
Three Main Office Fit-Out Strategies You Can Follow
Starting with three service strategies putting hospitality to work adds meaningful interactions that will keep your employees coming back to the office:
- Build a “vibrant first impression.” Forget the old-school employee’s arrival. The reception space can no longer be a barrier and a clock-in zone. Think of hotels high-quality concierge check-in, to on-demand tracking, we are all keen be treated as individuals. Many hospitality spaces build vibrancy by bringing the ‘action’ close to the check-in. Seeing a lively bar or lounge from the walk-in is good for a sense of anticipation. Why not at the office too? Look at what you’re missing out on.
Help employees to know what events are be happening nearby and within the office. Cater to their needs at the start of the day with a great coffee experience. Well-being and connection from the very first minute. A bit of a destination, possible even in relatively small spaces, does wonders for the arrival. ‘its good to be back’ has got to be the target.
Highlight local events, art and dining, and new artisan businesses. Bring in local pop ups, exhibitions, and explore anything creative going on nearby. Then let staff know. New activities lets people see the office in a new way. No longer the dull and predictable. Something is happening and the office is now a great touch-in to see what experiences can be accessed. Maybe have a big push on events on a Monday.
This will help the workplace feeling fresh and inspired, and make use of the locale where you’ve invested in bricks and mortar. There must be a spin –off to brand development in this way. Its takes effort, and a re-evaluation of the office as a catalyst, but the results can be outstanding.
Office design to capture the flavour of activity and local experience needn’t be dramatic. Some focal hubs, maybe some supporting Eventbrite tech. Key is having people in the organisation who are responsible and willing to make it happen.
Can you add team members with hospitality experience? From the morning greeting to a “how can I help you?” its all standard practice in hospitality. The future of workplace hospitality will make use of personal interaction and building back the company’s brand as it manifests itself in the office. Hospitality-driven talent could also boost the general level of service-ethic amongst your client-facing teams.
3. The ability to offer a secondary work-zone and work in a buzzy communal space has been drawing us into Starbucks for years. These office-community spaces can play a great role by engaging staff. For clients it can present the company’s culture and use the office as part of your brand. Many organisations recognize the benefit of opening-out a hospitality space to all, not hidden at the back of the building just for function. Space planning can bring the best experience into front-of-house.
Space: Office Design & activities to promote joy, well-being, and inspiration.
Reimagine the workplace as places to gather, to recharge, and be inspired? This isn’t so unusual. Office designs have included town hall spaces, occasionally spaces such as gyms and studios, for a while. Recognising the benefits of being away from the desk even for short spells.
Whether in the office or coworking lounge, or a terrace area, connecting with colleagues or self is a major reason why the office can be inspiring and joyful. Remote collaboration and meetings have a downside of solitary working. To counter this the design scheme can make office days into an immersive brand experience. Try recalling community gatherings; use flexible collaboration spaces to add inclusion, and more varied work-focus environments.
All good steps but on their own these changes cannot make these spaces special without an added dimension of hospitality-driven nurture, and inclusive in design as a starting point, not a post-script. By delivering a better experience than users might get at home — for work-focus, creative and collaborative stimulation, comfort, and nurture.
Hotel industry design has risen to the challenge of incredible interior design being part of the brand. Now office design needs to step up. It should consider how the needs of each individual may vary and how space and activity should adapt to upgrade the experience. Above all it means office design and space utilisation should devote more real-estate, and more effort, into the office as a joy. The world of work has changed and the office needs to change to be ahead of the game.
Coordinate spaces, activities, and programs to advance well-being.
Teams video conferencing fatigue is draining. Allowing people time to switch off and disconnect in spaces that refresh can provide a work-life balance. A workday can’t just be programmed exclusively around hours of productivity as people are burning-out or just WFH to help absorb the impact. Instead offer a range of spaces, activities, and team-building to allow employees room to nurture their minds and bodies at work.
It can be respite and meditation rooms, to garden areas, wellness hubs, whatever you can find space for. Foster worker well-being to mark the difference between home working and back in the office. Happy employees, who are genuinely fired up about where they work, will bring people away from WFH.
Small changes can have a big impact and go a long way to creating well-being for your employees.
Providing a light-filled corner of the office with a “no phone/no talk” policy and planting for proper focus or mental resets is a great add-on that’s easy to achieve and speaks instantly of care and consideration for people.
Access to building amenities, be they a ground floor café or rooftop terrace adds a dimension to the spaces on offer. Offer publicised well-being programs and encourage employees to be active. Go back to in-person stand-up meetings by adding suitable furniture.
Small changes that move away from the old desk-centric approach make a difference, so long as they aren’t the limit of the new office design.
Technology: Find easy improvements
- User experience is the be-all for commonly shared tech. Investing in online mtg tech that’s a dramatic step up from your laptop is imperative to creating a positive experience for all workers. Better sound quality and latest trackiing cameras are so much better than the WFh variety It is important to find a quality level that is equipped for the remote participant and physical attendee alike. Just by having top quality sound and vision, allied to comfortable and well-designed meeting spaces, will be a draw.
- Easy workplace tech. Just as hotels cultivate the experience with well thought-out connectivity, so too can the workplace benefit from enhancement. Possibly an app that helps staff with all aspects of arrival on-site, from finding a parking space, to navigating vacant spaces, all streamlines the entry back to the office. In addition, the workplace app can link to meeting room reservations and even food ordering and booking a slot on the activities program.
Recognising Change In Office Spaces Is Key
As you transition Users back to the office recognize that there are opportunities for improvement. By prioritizing the human experience and trying a few day-in-the life trials its possible to come across small enhancements that can combine into a bigger win.
Drawing on hospitality influenced design, the office can flourish as a nurturing and creative place for inspiration, with meaningful spaces and times to connect, and easy to use technologies.
None of these entities — programs, people, space, technology — are enough on their own, but together they can be a powerful boost to the office.
Speak To Fusion Office Design Today For More Information On Office Redesign
A wide variety of research now supports the idea that happy employees lead to productive workplaces. Businesses that want to improve their bottom line and create a more welcoming workplace for their employees should contact Fusion Office Design today.
We can help you create a custom office space to maximize employee productivity and satisfaction. Contact us today to get started! Our team have been the number one expert in London for office refurbishment services and office fit-out solutions. To find out more, be sure to speak to our team.