How I see office design shifting in the post-pandemic workspace
By Jim Smith, Managing Director Komfort Partitioning
I anticipate offices being smaller and for many, they will exist outside of cities and more so in towns and business estates. Retrofitting existing spaces will be more common amongst employers and clients, rather than investing in new premises. With this in mind, any design evolution will benefit our industry and I am excited to be a part of this.
The future of office design will undoubtedly adopt some of the key principles of home working. Thinking about the last 12 months, we have all had a dedicated eating space, working and time out space during the day. This type of division of space for different activities is exactly what we need to bring forward to our future workplaces. Having less dedicated space for individual desks (after all, the last 12 months have proven that we can all work individually and remotely at home), but more collaborative and interactive areas which our homes simply can’t deliver.
I can also see the aesthetics of future offices reflecting some of the comforts of home. Being surrounded by soft furnishing, warming tones, décor and features, and also the option for quieter dedicated spaces such as pods.
Providing comfort and safety will unquestionably be essential to engage your occupants, and the concept of ‘division’ is also key here. Dividing spaces provides reassurance and creates safe boundaries within the minds of the occupants. Something which is a top priority for all of us – looking after our health and wellbeing and employers demonstrating they value this above all else.
Whilst this has been a very challenging year and we will be glad to see the end of it, there are certainly positives which can be taken forward – our sharpened focus on people, productivity, wellbeing and importantly our environment. For the construction industry to thrive, all parties involved in the design and build of workplaces need to work collaboratively to create buildings for the environment, as well as the occupants.
This is an exciting time for the construction and built environment sector, one which I know will challenge and reward me.
Read part 1 of my insight into the post-pandemic workplace.