If you are expecting offices with higher occupancies and bigger conference rooms, you might be wrong. If one word can describe the future of the workspace, it would be — Flexibility.
While the world is going through a global pandemic, most enterprises have experienced work from home for their employees. We have seen major tech giants like Facebook, urging employees to work from home. What’s more astonishing is that some companies including Facebook and Twitter have also announced that their employees can choose to work from home post-pandemic.
The future of the workspace will not include only the big tech players, but will also extend to your home. People who have the opportunity to work from home would not need to travel or rent an apartment near their office, which could result in cost saving.
Currently, due to widespread technology adoption, almost everyone owns a personal computer and an internet connection. This means if these are the only things they need the most, they can work with flexibility from their homes. However, the need for face-to-face collaboration might still be needed in for some companies. There are numerous changes which would be coming to the offices. We’ve identified some of them as follows:
Considering a surge in a more digitally connected workspace, the collaboration between employees, digital nomads, consultants, gig-workers, freelancers, entrepreneurs or sole proprietors will increase globally.
Healthier & Hygenic environment-check.
Offices will prioritize the creation and maintenance of a hygienic environment towards a hygienic environment along with providing a healthier lifestyle to people for the time they spend in the office. There could be sanitisation booths on entry points in the offices, including a QR code-based entry. People can also expect greener offices coupled with healthier meals. Moreover, as per the latest news in tech, there could even be a fast 60-second breath analyser Covid-19 test once you enter the building.
Offices will pay more attention to culture.
Offices will no longer be perceived as just a place of work but as an experience. While we foresee most of the jobs might still be remote, employees who require true face-to-face collaboration in terms of creativity and decision making will still need an office. Workspaces would also want to impart their culture as employees would be committed to their jobs for longer periods.
“There is always going to be a need for somewhere that people can congregate and feel a sense of belonging to a unit” — Andrew Chadwick, Chadwick International
Companies will evaluate task-based metrics compared to time-bound work culture. More companies are expected to hire based on talent and skills rather than just merit.
More distributed teams
As Covid-19 made social distancing a daily norm, large workforces are likely to be split into smaller distributed teams located in different areas of the city. This will benefit employees as they will be able to work in whichever office is closer to their location.
‘Alexa, open the door’
Automation will enable contactless office spaces. Face recognition, voice automation and QR codes will be widely used to minimise contact with common surfaces. From office blinds to the coffee maker, almost everything could be controlled via a workspace app.
One way foot traffic only
Workspaces of the future will have different entry and exit ways to make people feel safe. This will also help workspaces in cleaning the walkways as entries and exits have expected times.
Video calls even inside the office
As people become more conscious of health and safety, they are likely to avoid common areas including conference rooms. People would prefer to stay within their work areas, cabins or floors unless absolutely required.
This isn’t the end of the era of workspaces, but an opportunity to evolve for the better. Workspaces need to become as comfortable as people would find themselves at home. It will no longer be about a place where employees work, but a place where diverse interdisciplinary communities connect.