The last two years have been privy to unprecedented changes across the world in the realm of the workspace. However, nothing is more resilient than the human spirit, which evolved and settled into the ‘new normal’ or in other words, outside the traditional office space.
Reinventing workplace transformations to address the paradigm shift
As we enter a new phase of reinventing the workplace, sustainability, flexibility, and innovative design take on a new meaning. Organizations now need to work on an immersive workspace for the purpose of collaboration and communication in a media rich environment where leaders and their teams must think digitally and virtually beyond the typical 9 to 5 workday barrier. This enables flexibility where employees can work and contribute more productively and in a more inclusive environment.
Organizations around the world are moving to sustainable and eco-friendly offices designed around employee health, safety, and comfort to foster team cohesion and well-being. More and more employers are laying more importance on measures such as recycling, reducing waste and re-using resources inside the office, giving employees a sense of purpose, and promoting environmental awareness at the workplace.
Embracing hybrid working is ubiquitous, but organizations must embrace technology that is not just constrained to laptops and phones to move beyond new and innovative ways of working beyond the traditional office space. For employees working from home, companies must encourage and support ergonomic workstations through the provision of supportive chairs and desks. To achieve effective outcomes at work, companies must find the right balance to ensure that operations run harmoniously between employees working from home and those coming to the office.
Building employee experience for workplace productivity
For an organisation to enhance its workplace productivity, it is important to focus on creating a holistic collaborative environment that nurtures all aspects of learning new skills, including social and emotional, advanced cognitive, diversity and inclusion and digital capabilities, etc. The mass use of virtual platforms that have generated hyper-connectivity and immediacy in communications, has accelerated social change and modified the way organizations relate to their employees.
The near-term priority is preparing to return to the workplace creating a safe and reassuring environment for growth, collaboration, and learning. Revamping the design of workspaces, with a key focus on human experience, innovations in technology, wellness, and sustainability are the need of the hour. Additionally, moving beyond conventional workplace designs to insight-based designs helps in creating different kinds of spaces suitable for the varying needs of employees. The popular opinion is that a well-designed and enabled environment fosters productivity while keeping employees ergonomically comfortable.
Design for the ‘future now’
Design trends in the workplace are focused on the changes needed by a younger, more technological workforce, who thrive on new experiences. Millennials also today crave collaboration, work well with teams, and always look to dabble in the latest technology. Therefore, the design of today’s office space must optimize the use of smart building technology, to have smart sensors and elements that are adaptive, collaborative, and flexible, in other words, design with a purpose.
A smart and appealing workplace is also a catalyst to attract quality talent and last but not the least, good design lends itself to productivity, efficiency, and a happy state of mind.
Resilience is key
At the end of the day, the central focus of design should be on people. If people are happy in their workspace, then they will come together to weather the tough times and still ensure business continuity. Sustainable practices and the most current technology are also key factors that are integral to a resilient workplace. Conserving energy, recycling, introducing paperless offices are some of the key initiatives to promote sustainability at the workplace. When it comes to technology, with the latest discoveries and updates, the workplace needs to function faster than the speed of light!
In conclusion, good design is aesthetic, and the aesthetic proof or quality of any product is a function of its usefulness because what we use every day has an effect on our well-being. People are fundamental to good design and good design is a function of happy and productive people and both in their own way are pivotal to consistent growth, evolution, and success.