Article: Why you need to redefine workspaces for the future of work


Why you need to redefine workspaces for the future of work

Companies today focus on modern and dynamic office layouts that go beyond work and enforce a collective purpose among employees.
Why you need to redefine workspaces for the future of work

In a world dominated by digital-first strategies and ambitions, companies have held on to physical offices as they understand the necessity of human interaction and collaboration for growth and success. Physical workspaces embody a company and convey its corporate identity, values, and ethos. Employees, clients, customers, and stakeholders can experience a brand through the way it is set up and operates in a physical space. Impressions gained in an office help form perceptions and somewhere determine the success of a company. 

Physical workspaces are also natural facilitators of collaboration, team spirit, and understanding among colleagues towards one another. Being together in an office versus working remotely enables building personal relationships, encourages teamwork, creativity, and discussion, which in turn contribute to pathbreaking innovation. In addition, offices are great enablers of best practices around accountability, flexibility, and sustainability.

The shift from traditional to modern 

Companies today focus on modern and dynamic office layouts that go beyond work and enforce a collective purpose among employees. But this shift has been gradual.

From 2015 to 2020, organisations refurbished their offices by eliminating private cabins and creating open-plan workspaces. This reduced hierarchies and gave employees a sense of equality, accelerating collaboration and inclusion among colleagues. In 2020, the pandemic fully changed the functions of an office, which until then was perceived as indispensable. With the introduction of a remote system followed by the hybrid work model, companies have been encouraged to adopt a more flexible work approach for employees.

As we look at the next normal of businesses, the role of an office is varied. Companies need more than one-size-fits-all framework to understand the purpose of offices. Physical workspaces are still evolving and will continue to transform in the near future. 

If a company desires to truly become diverse and inclusive, it needs to rethink its policies as well redesign the workspace, going beyond the typical considerations of age, race, gender, colour, and sexual orientation. Suitable infrastructure designed to accommodate people with different needs will help garner untapped talent and create an atmosphere of inclusion. 

Making workspaces more flexible  

The pandemic has undoubtedly made flexibility imperative to the current business environment. Companies that promote and practice flexible work options are better positioned to attract and retain top talent. In fact, flexible work schedules and arrangements are increasingly becoming important considerations when choosing a job.

Companies will need to rework their people strategies and build newer, smarter, and more collaborative physical workspaces centred around flexible models. Technology will play a crucial role in creating a flexible office space and supporting the hybrid work model. 

The must haves for future offices 

Let’s face it, workspaces affect wellbeing, efficiency, and productivity. Employees prefer companies that prioritise health and wellness while meeting the larger goals of sustainability. 

While agile working spaces will help manage the increasing workload and boost creativity, the concepts of hot desks and co-working setups will support the hybrid work model. That said, the construction of such office spaces will require greater resources and attention will be drawn to more sustainable options. Eco-friendly furnishings, use of renewable energy and recycled products will be crucial for building new offices.

Employee wellbeing, inclusivity and sustainability will influence companies as they redefine their workspaces. Companies will be faced with an important question—whether a forward-looking plan for an office will motivate employees to bring their whole selves to work.

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Topics: Culture, #FutureOfWork

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