It is no longer a matter of if people will repopulate their offices, but rather a question of when and more importantly how. We are all highly encouraged with the recent news of increased vaccinations and as we step closer to reentering the office it prompts the question of how to most effectively define, design and utilize the space that we choose to work in.
Technology & Collaboration
Undeniably there have been positive outcomes from the rate at which the pandemic has accelerated the use of technology, but there is no doubt that having a central office space is crucial to building team culture, collaboration, internal competition and the mentorship necessary for team success. We believe there is a way to benefit from these technological advances while also harnessing the productivity developed from collaborating with one another in person. These two focuses are best when used in tandem and when cultivated by face-face human interaction.
Customization & Flexibility
We anticipate minor changes in how space is programmed but believe that in many instances the pendulum had already swung too far in terms of increased density and the over loading of base building systems.
Recent discussions indicate that companies are primarily concerned with evaluating who, how and at what times their employees will populate their office space. Safety protocols and heightened awareness to cleanliness are here to stay as top priorities and will therefore be much easier to implement than making wholesale changes to physical office layouts.
“Me-time & Me-space”
In the short term we do assume that there will be flexibility in how employees work due to the non-work-related personal stresses that the pandemic has brought upon us. However, as children fully return to school and we settle back into a more normal routine, we see this eventually dissipating. Many need and even crave the true separation that has historically defined the work/life balance. The lines have become increasingly blurred. The physical transition of commuting from work to home is crucial. It allows for decompression and enhances the mental transition making us all healthier physically, mentally & socially.
The past year has altered the norms of how and where we spend our time. The need to return to the office is evident but equally as important is the need to leave the office. Success will follow as we all remember how to make this increasingly important distinction, leaving work for the work place and relaxation and family for the home.