The Covid-19 pandemic has completely altered our mindset towards work. There has been a monumental shift towards remote working due to the restrictions that were put in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to data from the Office of National Statistics, prior to the pandemic only 5% of the UK workforce worked mainly from home with 65% of employers not offering regular home working. Post pandemic, 65% is set to drop to 37% representing a significant change in the way we work and engage with our employers.
Throughout the last 18 months, bosses have discovered that when implemented well, hybrid working is a much more efficient and cost-effective model. People are also able to achieve an improved work-life balance which has made home working increasingly more appealing to many.
While some employees would prefer to predominantly work from home, most would favour a balance where they are in the office some of the week and spend the remainder working at home. Employers must decide what this new form of ‘hybrid working’ means for them. What procedures/changes will they need to implement to ensure that they are getting the most out of their employees?
For some organisations, moving to remote working will be a significant challenge both practically and financially with a number of things to consider such as IT resources and Health & Safety. It will also completely change the way in which organisations interact internally placing greater demands on management.
It may be argued however that allowing employees greater freedom of choice will enhance performance. No size fits all and every employee will have a different idea of what works best for them. Some may be more productive in the office and some may prefer the distraction free environment of home. This must be considered by companies in order for these new ways of working to be effective.
Many firms have also adopted ‘hot desking’ when individuals work from shared offices close to home. Again, this is another distraction free, professional environment that will encourage high levels of productivity.
With all of these factors to consider, we will start to see the role of a corporate HQ change significantly. Instead of being an everyday location for staff, it will become an environment for collaborative working and a hub for meetings and other corporate events. This will result in a greater focus on staff wellbeing with breakout areas and coaching/quiet zones. There will also be a requirement for greater air filtration systems and improved lighting.
Things that must be considered when returning to the workplace include:
- Have an understanding of what you need to get the most out of your employees.
- Listen to the preferences of your employees
- Engage with contractors and design teams.
- Regular communication with your team to ensure they know what is required of them.
- Engage with expert interior contractors who know and understand the requirements of fit out & refurbishment projects in tight demanding timescales and budgets
- Complete the approach with reviews of how the spaces work and make final tweaks if required
- Continue to engage and challenge each other in how best we can continue to develop our workplaces
- Consider working with an expert interior contractor, consultant & furniture specialist company in a design & build (D&B) basis to accelerate and mitigate risk in cost and timescale
How can Worksmart help you?
Worksmart Spatial Planning and Design – COVID-19 Office Refurbishments
- Safely returning to the office is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses over the coming year. The health and well-being of staff is paramount and instilling a level of confidence high enough in people to encourage them to return to the office is equally important.
- Through innovative design and spatial planning in the office, Worksmart can help you achieve this and create a safe working environment for your staff. We want to get staff back into the built working environment again.
Spatial Office Redesign
- Worksmart Contracts are creating offices to match the current and future needs of businesses. You must ensure that your workspace is designed in such a way as to minimise any possible COVID-19 transmission. Long-term solutions are the only response to the current situation and workspaces need to be modified in order to reassure workers.
- Worksmart’s Spatial Planning and Design team benefits from the expertise of interior designers, architects, space planners, pre-construction specialists and office furniture consultants.
- By combining all of this knowledge, we have created a team who are capable of meeting the challenges of office design in 2020 and beyond. Thanks to our Spatial Planning and Design team, Worksmart Contracts will be industry leaders when it comes to getting staff safely back into offices.
Air Filtration and Purification Systems
- Correct filtration and cleaning of air is going to be very important as we attempt to recover some level of normalcy. To do this, offices, buildings, schools, hospitals, supermarkets and any other public places will begin to make use of HEPA and HVAC air filtration technology.
- HEPA and HVAC systems effectively clean the air and rid it of potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. Even if the country makes a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, measures will be put in place to try and prevent future pandemics crippling the economy once again.
- HVAC systems are designed to replace the air in a building every 20-30 minutes. This constant flow of fresh, clean air will prevent virus spread as well as having other benefits. Cleaner air will reduce headaches, fatigue and other issues that lower workplace productivity.
- Worksmart are fully certified and can source and install HVAC and HEPA Air Filtration systems in any environment.
Komfort Protective Workspaces
- With social distancing already accepted as the norm, no one will mind when it’s integrated into the office. This will include the use of free-standing and desk-mounted screens to protect people in the office environment.
- Partitioning screens are available in a range of sizes and styles and can be used to enhance the character of a space, while also offering protection against virus transmission. Anti-microbial finishes are available for even greater protection.
- As well as being utilised in the office, these systems will become the norm in waiting rooms, canteens, restaurants, hairdressers and more.
COVID-19 Office Refurbishments
- Your office may never look the same again. Evolution is the key to ensuring the traditional office survives the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Worksmart can carry out all necessary works to ensure your office space is ready for the return to work. From inconspicuous partitions complete with anti-microbial finishes – safely segregating areas and workers – to new hygiene stations and HEPA air filtration systems, our Spatial Planning and Design team will create a safe working environment you can have confidence in.
- To discuss how Worksmart can redesign your workspace and help you get your staff back in the office, call us directly on 01563 53 55 11 or leave an enquiry in the form below.