“New normal” offices
The role of offices is changing. Their transformation was already a reality before Covid19 but the pandemics has accelerated the process. Thanks to technology, fewer people need to go to the office to work as they can do it from anywhere specially from home.
In this new scenario of the “new normal”, employees will be mobile and work will be hybrid, in-person and online; circumstance that is having huge impact on work spaces. Offices will not disappear but if it is true that we can work from anywhere, why do we go to the office? To co-create and socialize with others and also in other cases to concentrate better.
If the work is going to be flexible and more human than ever to support emotionally affected payrolls, offices should also be like this. The challenge is that with their design and display offices care for the physical and emotional health of employees and motivate them; and at the same time allow variable occupations of offices and the capacity to react to future contingency plans.
On the other hand, depending on the activity of each employee and on its vulnerability, it will be worth considering which of them need a physical and defined place. Therefore, the ratio 1 employee = 1 work station has no sense.
The trend is that employees will have access to a broad range of work spaces not personally assigned to a person but rather belonging to all members of the organization or department.
The elimination of personally assigned work stations is ever more reinvested in an increase of different shared areas that belong to everyone and designed for different uses.
We miss sharing. During this quarantine we have become aware that we depend on others and that we need to interact with them; exchange, relate with others and support others and that is the new role of the office; the meeting point where we feel safe and supported by others with whom we can cooperate and share.
And looking for this common space we will go to the office. And this will not be the only reason: as I have mentioned, we will go to the office looking also for spaces that inspire us and ease our work, either individual or concentrated or in collaboration with others.
In the end, in offices we socialize and their use shall adapt to the preferences and demands of employees.