How Analysis Can Inform Your Future Workplace. Part 1
2020: WHEN THE WORLD OF WORKPLACE CHANGED
In the spring of 2020 the UK went into lockdown, affecting not only the way we live, but the way we work.
At Squaredot this allowed us to stop, think and reflect on what the future might hold for workplace. During the course of lockdown we asked ourselves many questions, trying not to predict like so many, but to converse with like minded people and business leaders and to be more considered as to what the outcome might be. As we begin to see businesses adapting to their new normal, and people more than ever taking an interest in their work environment, we feel we have a much better idea as to what the future workplace may look like.
IS THERE STILL A NEED FOR THE OFFICE AND IF SO WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
With workforces distributed by time & location, accessing buildings only periodically, the role of buildings will shift dramatically. If work can take place anywhere, then why come to the office?
We feel we might be about to enter a golden age for the office, with it becoming a place of purpose and destination that is focussed on culture and togetherness.
The extent to which home-working remains popular long after the pandemic has passed will depend on the appetite for change from organisations and employees alike. As we potentially spend more time apart, the office will become the glue that binds us; a place to meet & make connections and a place to satisfy the thing that we have all missed and craved during lockdown - human interaction.
'The Office' is not dead and it is still important because it can provide a great place for:
SUPPORTING WORK ACTIVITIES
COLLABORATION & COMMUNICATION
MENTORING & KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER
SOCIAL INTERACTION & CONNECTIONS
These are vital to most people and organisations to function effectively, and not forgetting the importance these points also have on peoples mental health.
Moving forward we have identified 3 considerations that will shape your future workplace;
So, what is the future workplace? It's about getting the balance right...
GETING THE BALANCE RIGHT
Everyone was talking about how to make the post-COVID office safe, but now organisations are beginning to look beyond that.
But how does the post-COVID ‘new normal’ promote strategic change that can strengthen business performance and engagement, as well as optimise physical space?
People have realised there are more effective ways to work and that it’s not about a vast sea of open plan working. It’s about having the right choice in location, be that from home or the office, and it's about providing an appropriate group of work settings that support the unique activities within that workplace. In other words… who are we designing for and what should we be designing?
In the past months we have talked with organisations who have taken positives from the enforced lockdown and subsequent accelerated learning. Validated by our findings they are grasping the opportunities that they now see before them, to grow something better.
More than ever, this is has become an ideal time to re-assess your business needs and aspirations. Holding a detailed understanding of your business could potentially play out with the following benefits:
REDUCE PROPERTY PORTFOLIO
ENCOURAGE DIFFERENT WORK CULTURES
BECOME A MORE EFFICIENT WORKFORCE
EXPAND ON YOUR SUSTAINABILITY & WELLBEING
With these benefits in mind, your workplace should also support your business aspirations and the following are some of the questions that should be considered:
WHO NEEDS TO BE IN THE OFFICE?
WHAT IS THE LANDSCAPE OF THE OFFICE
HOW MUCH SPACE IS NEEDED?
WHAT COULD A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PEOPLE IN THE OFFICE LOOK LIKE?
At Squaredot we understand that every business and every person will be facing new & different challenges as we learn to live and work alongside COVID-19. We recognise that more than ever, one size does not fit all.
With an average response rate to our post-lockdown online survey of 86% compared to only 30% pre-lockdown it is clear that more than ever, people are taking an active interest in their work environment and want to have their say in the future of workplace.
This is no longer about knee jerk reactions and just 'making do'. This is now a time where people have had time to reflect, to settle in to new ways of working and to recognise what works and in turn what doesn't work. Now is the perfect time to ask those questions and seek the opportunities that exist. To quote one of our recent post-lockdown workplace analysis studies; "This study is a God given opportunity to make something better and grow it. If we don't grasp it, then we're stupid."
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