October 2, 2020
The coronavirus has changed everything, and this dreadful pandemic has caused so much pain and loss within our lives. I have complete faith in science, and I believe we will find a way to overcome this, as we have done previously. I am an optimist and I like to find the positives in any situation, so it is great to see so many people thinking about their daily lives and what really matters – things like family, friends, community and the environment.
So, what has this got to do with the future of the workplace? I think the future workplace holds the key to unlocking some incredibly positive changes to these issues.
There is no doubt that one of the greatest changes during the pandemic has been the way in which we work. We have been forced to work from home and rely on digital platforms to communicate and collaborate.
We now know that we can work from anywhere, so what does this mean for the office? The workplace is changing fast and in two ways. Firstly, the very reason we need an office is changing and secondly, the size and location of the office will change.
As a designer, I have spent the last 20 years persuading clients to move from a culture of control to a culture of trust and we know that agile working has a positive effect on the productivity of your people, when it is intrinsic in your companies beliefs.
This pandemic has accelerated the move towards agile working by no longer needing rows and rows of the same desks and chairs where people stare at a computer screen all day. This is freeing up the workspace for other ‘themes’ as we are developing on an office project currently.
At Contents Design, we see the future of workplace being a hybrid of working from home, at a community hub and at a ‘central experience’. The ‘central experience’ will be a place to bring everyone together to experience the vision, brand, goals and character of a business and then feel energised to be productive anywhere, with a sense of purpose and belonging.
Community hubs will be either coworking spaces or dedicated satellite locations within local communities (high streets) to allow people to work, meet and socialise near the places they live.
Working from home will be for concentrated work and the design of our homes will become more about acoustics, connectivity and lighting for home workspace.
The benefits of this hybrid workspace are fewer cars, less travel time, increased productivity, greater wellbeing, healthier lifestyle and that is just for employees. Local communities could also benefit from bringing people together to reduce social isolation, supporting the local economy and breathing life back into our high streets.
If I were to say that you could be happier with work and home life, support your local community and help save the planet – that could be right up your street.
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