As companies consider the future of their workspace and how they work in a post-pandemic world, it is sometimes hard to know where to start. So as workers around the country prepare to return to the office, how can you prepare your place and your people for hybrid working?
While the flexibility offered by hybrid working opens huge possibilities, not all those possibilities are positive. with all the change that you and your people have been through in the last 18 months, the last thing you need is a complicated workspace strategy that confuses your people and leaves them unengaged, causing you serious problems.
The modern workspace should be a place that supports workers in their role at every point in the day. A place that enables them to shift between a range of collaborative, cooperative and focussed tasks that comprise their varied and complex working days.
FluidSpace™ is a unique solution to the widespread challenges facing companies. With many unsure of how their workspace needs will change over the coming months, we have developed FluidSpace™ to give you the flexibility and the confidence you need to create a unique workspace that grows and changes with you.
Start with User Experience
In an age when many people derive much more value and identity from experiences than from possessions, the key is creating a workspace with a great user experience. Now that people are thinking much more consciously about how and where they work, the office has to be a welcoming place where your people want to be – both for the experiences they can have and the results they can achieve.
This active thinking about how we work provides an unprecedented opportunity to create a unique workspace optimised for how you and your people will use it every day. By creating a leading employee experience in your workspace, you can not only attract and retain the best people for your business, but you can create a true home and hub of company culture that drives the performance of your entire company.
Office staff across the world have become used to the convenience and flexibility of working from home and are unsure about coming back to the office. Yet, building new relationships and social capital, the unseen glue of every organisation, is unsustainable virtually. FluidSpace™ can give your people the benefits of both: the flexibility working of environments and styles, as well as the ability to collaborate and connect with team members.
A variety of work environments is now seen as necessary for a modern workforce. The traditional workspace with individual workstations for each employee, several meeting rooms, and limited collaboration spaces is no longer fit for purpose- if it ever was. Modern teams need different working environments that they can reconfigure to suit their requirements at any time. With a wide variety of reconfigurable, interactive furniture, FluidSpace™ can seamlessly adapt to meet the needs of your people throughout the day.
Your people will perform far better if they have different environments designed to facilitate their different roles. To complete personal tasks, they will likely need space and seclusion to focus without any distractions or background noise. If they are trying to resolve an issue, they may need to brainstorm creative solutions with colleagues in a collaborative and vibrant atmosphere.
Staff are at their and most productive when given a variety of spaces choose from in which to do their work. Whether that’s café-style spaces for informal meetings, pods for focussing (alone or in small teams), or academy facilities for people to communicate & learn. A FluidSpace™ that facilitates the work they are doing will have a huge positive impact on their effectiveness.
The rapid rise of video meeting technology became meteoric during the first half of 2020, and it is now fully established as a mode of daily interaction. With your teams spread about across various locations and even time zones, technology has an essential role to bring both internal and external stakeholders together. Virtual meetings have undeniable benefits – no travel time, convenience- and can be used in conjunction with in-person meetings to make people more connected than ever.
One solution gaining traction is high-end “zoom rooms” with integrated visual & audio technology, sound insulation and other innovations. Some, such as Zenconnect stages, even feature immersive mixed-reality technology and intuitive green screen capabilities. An alternative is high-tech office pods, again with integrated audio & visual technology and sound insulation, that enable immersive, high-quality presentations.
But technology in the modern workplace goes much further than meetings. From cloud-based document sharing and collaboration solutions to smart building technology, it will permeate every part of our working day. Non-intrusive monitoring can also monitor how much time people are spending at work and how much relaxation time they have, notifying them of potential burn-out and protecting their wellbeing.
Among many things that have become considered topics of discussion and thought over the last 18 months, attitudes towards wellbeing have perhaps changed the most. Not only physical but mental wellbeing. Physical wellbeing is a serious concern for many staff as they prepare to return to the office. Designing for social distancing, both through space planning and the implementation of systems like touch-free journeys will be worth considering.
Mental wellbeing is also an essential element of post-pandemic workspace design. Your people will need an environment that makes them feel safe and ensure they care for, especially given the stresses of the pandemic. Providing your employees with as much security and stability will increase their confidence and productivity, enabling them to be more productive.
Wellbeing is not about offering random office perks, such as food or fitness club memberships- though those can help. Prioritising wellbeing means putting the needs of your people at the centre of your workspace strategy and design. This involves engaging with, listening to and implementing the feedback from your people.
The greatest drawback of spending so long working remotely is the diminishing of social capital and the lack of collaboration. By providing ways for your people to collaborate and connect, you will give them the ability to be far more innovative.
Where to Start
Devising your workspace strategy in the current climate can feel like a daunting task. FluidSpace™ is a workplace concept that we have developed in response to the way working patterns have changed over the last year. FluidSpace™ creates agile, flexible workspaces that can be quickly and cost-effectively reconfigured to meet the changing demands of organisations.
By utilising furniture to create rooms and zones rather than traditional methods of fit-out such as partitions, it allows for maximum flexibility – new zones and rooms can be established without the need for disruptive and expensive construction works.
There are many benefits of the FluidSpace™ concept over against traditional methods of office fit-out. FluidSpace™ gives organisations the flexibility to create spaces that can be reconfigured to suit their changing dynamics. Furniture is much easier to reconfigure and relocate, compared with traditional construction. Your workspace could be rearranged in as little as a weekend to adapt to your shifting needs.
FluidSpace™ is also cost-efficient. A large proportion of the costs in a traditional workspace fit-out project are often Mechanical & Electrical. By using storage and acoustic pods to create different spaces, many of these costs are no longer necessary, therefore saving both time and money from construction phases.
Through FluidSpace™, you can create your own workspace that meets the current needs of your business and can adapt to an uncertain future. Get ideas for your own FluidSpace™ with our inspiration guide or get in touch to find out how we can help you.