Throughout the pandemic, government stay-at-home health orders across the country have forced radical change on the workplace and corporate values – beyond just a shift to work from home.
While government economic support continues to be welcomed, it seems where we stand now, coronavirus has changed the rules about how we work and where we work, maybe even forever.
The shift from traditional offices to virtual and technology-based workplaces has perhaps deepened the financial crunch for some and caused chaos for others.
For example, working parents who have been taxed with home education, struggling between being able to put in a full workday, helping their children complete class activities, and fulfilling normal home duties
However, it has also pushed many industries to reinvent themselves with a growing recognition among industry leaders that there will be no shift back to those normal office values and beliefs which have been the convention for the past sixty years.
We have 25 years of experience and education in creating workplace designs and commercial office fitouts, using movement and creativity to drive workspace transformations.
And with workspaces and workplaces changing like never before, so too are we.
We’re asking ourselves: Has the home office just become an extension of an activity-based working strategy? Have we simply discovered we can be flexible beyond what we previously thought possible? Has COVID-19 simply augmented and accelerated the strategies we were moving towards before the pandemic hit? Has the pandemic changed the pivotal values and beliefs of a traditional workspace?
I have faith that our traditional workplaces will always play a vital role in maintaining cultural placemaking and binding teams together – they are the ultimate facilitator of community and collaboration.
This means that organisations will abandon the traditional office in favour of a physical environment which is in a constant state of movement, changing its facilities and technology based on immediate business and project needs.
The thought that due to COVID-safe rules organisations may now need wider thoroughfares and distance workstations more spaciously is simply a more exciting and human alternative to the dense population approach years gone by.
If a balance can therefore be struck, it is highly possible that deep, focussed work can now be done at home, and that this can re-write the rules for the physical workspace as a hub for social connection, incidental conversation and collaboration.
You can never tax success in employees, the golden moments are never scheduled and often lead to even greater innovation, when employees spontaneously collaborating.
By providing an activated, engaged hub which caters for various activities, a new workspace could provide value for a variety of accommodation for staff way beyond the traditional 1/10 sqm calculations, whilst decreasing the density of bodies in space at any particular moment in time.
This may lead to organisations keeping their current space but increasing their alternate accommodation, or indeed, decreasing their required space all together.
We anticipate that will need to be assessed for all organisations, based on their unique needs.
I know no matter what the future workplace looks like, one belief will always remain constant – there will always be community and collaboration – and that’s what we’re striving to create – perhaps just in new and flexible ways.