The pandemic has forced businesses to ‘revolutionize’ the way they operate. For the foreseeable future, Work From Home will be preferred, while going to an office will apply only to a select few who need to be there. This doesn’t mean working from an office is discouraged. In the current situation, we are going to see companies walk a fine line between Work From Home(WFH) and work at your desk.
Offices still need to run. WFH employees may come in occasionally, but meetings and other business activities need to be conducted at an office. The whole concept of working from an office hasn’t died down but has changed considerably. One thing is for certain, no matter where you prefer to work, the demand for commercial furniture like workstations, desks, office chairs, and storage units isn’t going to die down.
Reasons to redesign your office in 2021
• Design of the workspace matters – Companies these days know how important it is to have an atmosphere where everyone is happy and contented with their work. The best office layout for productivity depends on a variety of factors, primarily the well-being of the employees themselves. While the customer is king’ for the companies the ‘employee is the king’ when it comes to the workplace environment and the whole workplace should be designed in a way to ensure the employees can work their best at all times.
• Interiors should align with company culture – Large MNCs and startups alike want their workspace to reflect their core values and goals. This means different work decor for each company. This is necessary for big companies wanting to make an amazing impression on their customers.
• Fulfilling demands of younger employees – Employees in their 20s and 30s have grown up with the latest technologies. They work with these and expect the same from their employers. They also expect a working environment that encourages them to express themselves, this should be reflected in the office decor.
• Better brand perception – Not only the product but the workplace also represents the brand of the company. A well done up workplace gives a great first impression to new clients. In fact, according to studies, almost 85% of the clients base their judgement of the brand on the first impression of their workspace. Who wouldn’t want to walk into an energetic, modern office as against a conventional and dull workplace?
• Reduced Operating Cost – Sustainability is not optional. With cut-throat competition and increasing pressure on resources, everyone has to work harder in the organization to survive. Having an agile, flexible, and state-of-the-art workspace is, therefore, compulsory for MNCs and startups alike.
• Utmost care of employee well-being – Employees give their optimum performance when they have nothing to worry about. Companies are doing all they can to ensure that the employees’ well-being is always taken care of. Small changes in the work environment and decor help with this.
• Future requirements for space – While brainstorming the office interior design, further space required for the growth of the organization should be taken into consideration. If the current workplace doesn’t permit this, the interior designer has to be briefed to make the necessary provisions to add new people.
Office Design Trends 2021: Why Redesigning office space is the need of the hour
• Safety is paramount – The risk of contracting a disease is what worries people, especially after the pandemic. The workspace of 2021, therefore, needs to adapt to this new reality. Besides taking precautions voluntarily, designers have to take care of every small detail with the furniture and interiors to mitigate the risk of disease. While many employees like to return to the office, they would expect their concerns about air quality and adherence to safety protocols is looked into. To physically ensure a healthy environment, designers need to physically distance each workstation from another and use the right office interior design furniture to make the workplace healthy and safe.
• Community-based design – Though Work-from-home is convenient, it lacks the team bonding, focus, and professional growth that is available in a workspace. These are not just ‘feel-good’ reasons but are crucial for an organization’s business outcomes and employee engagements. For Workspace 2021, designers need to walk in a thin line between offering employee engagement and bonding and following all the social distancing norms for a safe atmosphere at work.
• Incorporate flexibility – Traditionally, workspaces were just seen as a place to work, nothing else. Trends have now changed for the better, now flexible work timings along with decor have to give the workspace a welcoming look. Not only that, each workspace shouldn’t be just for that, but be used for various other tasks, especially meetings and other tasks. Interior designers need to study this trend carefully and incorporate it wherever necessary.
• Open Spaces – Companies are gradually moving from hierarchical cubicles to open spaces where everyone is treated equally. Open spaced offices, though a German concept, has found acceptance everywhere, where hierarchies are blurred and everyone is treated equally. This helps people work better and be more productive at all times. With open spaces, furniture for the office also needs to be carefully chosen to make sure it suits the office decor.
• Leisure areas – Companies are taking leisure time very seriously- many startups and MNCs have ‘entertainment zones’ integrated into the office where employees can play video games, take a swim or just chill out with friends and colleagues.
In a nutshell
Post the COVID-19 pandemic, the new reality of work is a balance between work from home and work at the office. Designers need to choose the right office furniture online or in-person to suit the unique needs of every company.