The Covid-19 pandemic has badly affected the way the workspace used to operate. As the world is facing several challenges, so are the offices that are going to be changed beyond recognition post-pandemic. We all have been profoundly affected by the pandemic for the past year. Having the convenience of remote work itself is a luxury amidst the pandemic.
Working from home may or may not replace the office environment. Office design has now changed for the safety and well-being of the future workforce. However, the world is witnessing a mass exodus as most of the major companies are shifting to work from home culture. Many companies have already shifted to work from home arrangements last year. And now the same is happening again due to the pandemic.
In this article, we will be discussing whether the offices will sustain or perhaps emerge in a different form. What are the changes which we can expect in the design of new offices post-pandemic?
Will Offices disappear?
The debate on the topic of whether the office will persist or not is far more complicated than you can imagine. On the one hand, companies are adapting to work from home policies by ditching their properties. They have believed at the end of offices and getting rid of their expensive offices. This has left their employees to work from home which is a painful task for many employees.
On the other hand, offices still hold great importance for the organization and employees to collaborate and congregate for business opportunities. Less demand in offices can cause shared tribulations to the organisations as well as employees.
The recession caused by this pandemic has undoubtedly reduced the demand for offices. However, the offices are not going to go anywhere due to these uncertainties. So, before we try to get rid of the offices, think about the purpose and function they serve carefully.
Mentoring, managing and social interaction are very difficult if there are no offices. Offices play a very important role in bringing people together. Hence, making business smooth and hassle-free also. We hope that you now understand that it’s very difficult to work without offices. So, let’s discuss how new designs of office can help in sustaining its existence.
Design of the Offices
Researchers, architects and designers are engrossed continuously in innovating a better design strategy for the offices we want post-pandemic. It is seen that companies are opting for hybrid models of office, blending remote and office teams to function effectively. Also, the organisations are planning distributed working by establishing multiple offices to prevent a complete shutdown of any unit due to crisis.
This has increased the demand for coworking spaces in order to provide decentralised offices. Organizations definitely need cost-effective and flexible workspaces to meet their survival and annual targets. This new typology of office design will help in bringing more diversity up to the table. It will also facilitate more high-quality connections which will strengthen the relationships within and among existing and new organizations.
Coworking spaces are growing in numbers across the world to overcome the challenges faced by the traditional style centralized offices. It is often observed that people communicate with the people who are within six feet of them. This reduces the possibility of communication across different floors of the building of an organization. That’s why dividing urban offices into smaller units with shared amenities would help in the survival of offices.
The designs and layout of the post-pandemic offices shall undergo significant changes. The other buildings like hotels, bars, fitness centres can be used as office space after some essential changes. For example, the bar can be placed on the rooftop and the fitness centre can be shifted somewhere at the backside of the building to make the most of the space.
Geographic Locations of the Offices
Many people are comfortably immersed in work from home setup. But we do have an alternative for those that are working from your nearest coworking space.
The neighbourhood-based workspaces are also likely to get more attention due to the close proximity to the employees’ residence. In metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi where the commuting hours are long, neighbourhood-oriented coworking space would be of greater importance. Local offices will also ensure better work-life balance, more diversity in the voices from different office locations.
The division of an organisation into multiple locations will benefit both cities and suburbs in different ways. This will be a blend of both traditional style office and work from home environment. Working closely from home will encourage a sense of sociability among workers and offer them more flexibility. It will also promote wellness goals by reducing commuting time and ask employees to walk to work.
Finding the balance
The purpose of traditional style offices is definitely being carefully checked amidst the pandemic. However, the opportunities of new design and scale of urban workplace would not be possible to think pre-pandemic. This has given all the organizations a chance to rethink the purpose of offices for their business, brand, employees and culture.
The design of future offices will definitely benefit both employees and employers in several ways. Both of them will use new workplace designs in order to work efficiently and effectively. You can expect future offices to be more flexible and hygienic.