There have been countless challenges that have sprung up as a result of COVID-19, and one unexpected implication of the global pandemic is the need to reassess office layouts. As businesses shift their focus toward safely accommodating employees in this new version of normalcy, some interesting office design trends are beginning to emerge.
Post-COVID Office Designs
In order to keep workers safe, the designs of many offices must necessarily be altered, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the aesthetic or functionality of your space in the process.
How to Change Your Office Design
When it comes time to redesign your workspace, these are some of the simplest measures you can take to complete the process:
- Reconstruct how work is completed in your office — During COVID-19, many businesses have realized that even collaborative projects can be worked on from a distance; consider maintaining a fluid attitude when it comes to interaction with your new design.
- Consider in-person and remote options — Not every employee needs to be physically present in the office at all times; changing the amount of time that workers spend in the space would allow you to cut down on the number of desks and offices needed.
Learn how to integrate remote working in a future workplace model by watching our webinar co-hosted with Deloitte titled ‘Back to Business: An essential guide for reopening the workplace’
- Redesign in a way that supports your organizational priorities — Businesses’ most pressing concerns have shifted to cleanliness and safety; this means that your new design will likely not feature large meeting places, but will hinge more on the use of technology for collaboration.
- Get creative with resizing the floor footprint — Don’t be afraid to make major adjustments to your space; it’s okay to ask overarching questions and rethink your entire approach to the office’s layout.
Armed with these tips, you’ll be able to better tackle the task of redesigning your office in a post-COVID world. Fortunately, many others are grappling with the same concerns you are, so there are some useful patterns emerging to help you stay safe without compromising your style.
Office Design Trends
Though offices are only just beginning to reopen in earnest, these are the trends that we already see emerging as businesses navigate the redesign process:
- Workstations that prioritize safe physical distance — Whether or not various governments continue to mandate their own social distance guidelines, employees will feel safer in offices that allow them to maintain their space; this means that more and more businesses will be looking for ways to safely configure desks.
- Open floor plans — Already a popular design trend in modern offices, open floor plans are easier to clean and properly ventilate. However, the closer proximity of employees in an open floor plan can be challenging for distancing so consider options such as staggered arrival times, directing office foot traffic and staging areas for elevators.
- Focus on intuitive furniture, appliances, and finishes — Employees will inevitably touch many of the same surfaces as their coworkers throughout the day, so businesses are beginning to focus more on finding solutions that are antimicrobial, touch-free and easy to sanitize frequently to put workers’ minds at ease.
- Adjusting conference rooms — Sprawling conference rooms with tables that seat dozens of people are no longer practical. The new trend for conference rooms will focus on changing their use and adding more small meeting spaces to offices rather than prioritizing one or two large rooms. Consider using smaller conference rooms as individual workstations for single use.
- Embracing unconventional ideas — If ever there was a time to think outside the box, this is it. Creativity is the name of the game, and many businesses are willing to try completely new approaches with their redesigns.
COVID-19 has caused a seismic shift in many aspects of life as we know it, and office design is no exception. Fortunately, these design trends will make it easy to rethink your workspace without having to compromise on the functional elements you love.
At Trimble, we provide real estate and workplace management software solutions that helping customers support their return-to-the-office strategies. If you have a need for new technology to help with your workspace planning and booking, you can book a demo here or post your questions to us via our online form.