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9.28.2021

What Does the Future of Office Space Look Like?

As the world adapts to new, more flexible ways of working, the future of office space has taken a reimagined role in today’s business world.

Though some organizations have foregone their physical space entirely, the majority of employers—roughly 77%, according to CNBC—are confident that an office with a hybrid or in-person-first model is right for the immediate future.

Planning a return to the workplace is one thing, but planning for a return to the workplace is a much larger task. If companies want to attract and retain a productive and engaged workforce, it’s critical that leaders rethink how their office space looks to provide a more fulfilling experience.

Update Decor

Reimagining once-stuffy office spaces to feel more like home is more important than ever, as organizations adopting a hybrid work model are now realizing their office areas must compete with the safety, familiarity and homeliness of their employees’ living areas.

To prevent from contrasting too much from the at home aesthetic, organizations are updating their offices with more natural, environmentally friendly decor and material such as reclaimed wood, live plants, natural textures and less cramped environments.

Long, shared lunch tables and comfortable seating areas are increasingly important. Office spaces are even integrating tiered seating or steps that team members can use as a central gathering place for all-hands meetings, impromptu get-togethers and quality relationship-building. 

Emphasize Community

As more offices reopen, the old floor plans and furniture arrangements no longer feel quite right. Instead of cubicle farms or rows of desks, many organizations have opted to redesign their layouts for greater collaboration and creative inclusivity.

67% of workers have reported feeling disconnected from their colleagues. That’s why creating purpose-built office space for mentoring, training, learning and general unstructured collaboration is vital to the success of the organization.

With technologies like video conferencing and Google Drive shrinking the importance of a physical office presence, creating spaces that are more purposeful for collaboration, brainstorming and community-building help foster the engagement and connection that can’t be replicated over a screen.

Build Culture

As many organizations have learned, it’s tough to establish, change or reignite a culture over virtual channels. Some degree of physical presence is necessary, but the future now demands it be done in a comfortable, welcoming office environment.

In a hybrid workplace, employees exposed to these office upgrades are more likely to see their managers in a more positive light, feel greater openness and honesty in communication, receive better feedback, and report higher levels of work-life satisfaction.

Organizations that can build a culture of resilience in their office strategy will not only be more successful in the immediate future, but will thrive in the long term.

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