Today’s office employees are either returning to their old jobs after months of working from home or seeking new opportunities elsewhere. In both situations, people look at much more than just salary and health insurance when they return to the office environment. After spending a year, and sometimes more, working in their home environment, individuals are now taking a hard look at where they’ll be working and demanding more from their employers.
Working at Home Changed the Dynamic
Millions of people who had worked in mindless cubicles or dark, uninviting office spaces discovered that they were more productive working from home. They realized that being more comfortable and surrounded by an attractive environment made them more productive rather than less. Most of these people felt a feeling of dread when facing a return to poor office conditions that they previously hadn’t noticed because they had nothing to compare them to. Now, they long to work somewhere that maximizes their comfort and ability to work efficiently. A tiny, box-like room or cubicle isn’t going to cut it anymore.
What People Want in Modern Office Designs
So, what are today’s returning office professionals looking for? Comfort, versatility, and simplicity. These features have become more important to office workers who have learned that a traditional, bleak environment isn’t necessary for success or efficiency. They’ve realized that a more inviting and comfortable environment is conducive to better performance.
A boxed-in cubicle won’t work for most people who have spent long months working remotely. When working from home, people could move about easily, take breaks whenever they wanted to, and create a personal workspace that’s comfortable and inviting.
Modern office design needs to offer that same haven of being an inviting place to work. This can be achieved through expanding spaces, creating more open areas, and creating an environment that doesn’t scream “sterile office.” Warm or vibrant colors, artwork that isn’t bland, hotel room junk, and lots of natural light are crucial. Natural lighting reduces eye strain, increases the body’s “feel-good” chemicals, and gives an office a soothing ambiance. Ergonomic office furniture also needs to be offered. After working at home from their comfiest recliner or the sofa, workers don’t want to spend eight hours a day in a stiff, uncomfortable chair that strains their back.
Today’s employees are often filling multiple roles. They may be online all day at the beginning of the week, doing paperwork mid-week, and closing out the week in a series of meetings with colleagues. A versatile office layout ensures employees can quickly shift from one role to another seamlessly. Moveable workstations, small clusters of tables and chairs for easy collaboration, and office space or cubicles with plenty of room for spreading out information and materials all add versatility to a modern office design.
Minimal clutter and a more open office and common areas are enticing as people return to work. Dark, cluttered offices with old, seldom-used furnishings and endless file cabinets crammed with old paperwork are distracting. With nearly all record-keeping done online or in the cloud, these relics of past decades need to be removed and put into proper storage or destroyed. Some employers hold on to outdated décor and paperwork for far too long, fearful they may be needed “someday.” The reality is, they are simply collecting dust.
Now is an ideal time to revamp your workspace with a modern office design so returning employees and new ones see clear evidence of their value to the company. Modern office design can help transform an office from a depressing space to an attractive, enjoyable workplace.
Why Modern Office Design is More Important Than Ever is a feature post