Leaving open-plan office design behind?
Can we expect to see a shift in how we experience the world after the pandemic? And what will this mean for the workplace? People are the driving force behind every company and now it is more important than ever to explore how the safety and hygiene of our workspaces will shape the future of how we work, but also how our offices will serve us for the present and future.
Whilst we make attempts to get back to normality, we have to question what is the best way to do this? We need to find a new normal. Business leaders have to predict what that new normal will be and decide how we apply this to the hub of their business.
A shift in direction
From a productivity and wellbeing viewpoint, open-plan offices were already in question prior to recent events. They are noisy, often distracting and have been shown to reduce productivity and increase stress levels.
But now that safety and hygiene is at the top of everyone’s priority list, will the recent events see office interiors move further away from open-plan design? Will this be the return of smaller, more private spaces?
Hot-desking, canteens and reception areas will all see a drastic change.
Dividing up spaces in creative ways seems to be an obvious way of reducing contact and the transmission of harmful bacteria or viruses between employees, as well as de-densifying workspaces. Using partitioning systems as a way of providing this safe environment for employees to return to work is already in everyone’s thoughts, along with additional hygiene products and social distancing precautions.
Having installed partitioning systems for decades and having been a part of the evolution of office design for some time, we can be sure that this pandemic will see a shift in designs once again … quite possibly making open-plan offices a thing of the past.