Designing Your Office in the New Normal

Designing your office in the new normal

As the world continues to change and adapt to the new normal, it's important to ensure that you create an efficient, safe, and organized office space. Review the layout of your office and create a perfect balance of social distancing and socialisation by assigning personal and public spaces for everyone.

Our office spaces should make us feel comfortable. Not only that, it should also encourage productivity and inspire your creativity to come to the surface. More importantly, it has to contribute to making us feel safer and healthier amidst the pandemic.

Workstations

Workstations

A workstation is where the magic happens for most employees so this is number one on the list of things you need to address.

For starters, you should focus on providing your team with devices and gadgets that they can work on. Shared machines are not ideal. Workstations can occupy minimal space if you limit what’s on it; give every employee their own devices that they are responsible for to limit the number of wires and objects on a desk.

Open floor plans

Open Floor Plans

With the pandemic comes more and more enclosed spaces to keep us safe, and the same goes for the office. However, glass enclosures and plastic dividers, while helpful for preventing other people’s fluids from coming into contact with us, still don’t overall help the situation, especially with viruses that are airborne. The office layout design should adapt to the new normal.

Open floor plans are also designed for flexibility. Since there are quite a number of employees who are working from home as compared to those who go to the office to work, opt for more collaborative spaces rather than individual workstations. This also makes it easier to clean. Designing office space layouts is essential for the team to be productive because their workspace is where the magic happens.

Open floor plans, because of the lack of dividers, allow for air to flow freely. However, you should also install airflow systems that filter the amount of air exhaled by people in the room for the others to inhale. Being that the pandemic virus is airborne, this would help significantly in the quality of air and the ventilation of a shared space.

Related: Benefits of an Open Floor Plan Space

Appliances, furniture and furnishings

Appliances, Furniture, and Furnishings

The open floor plan makes it easier for the management to pick new appliances, furniture, and furnishings. The term is future-proofing: use adaptable corporate office furniture.

Furniture and appliance companies had significant innovations in their respective industries since the lockdowns of March 2020. To cater to the new normal, they came up with multi-functional pieces for both the home and offices. Those that can easily be reconfigured, cleaned, and moved are ideal for the office spaces under the new normal.

Related: Things to Consider When Picking Furniture

Technology and automation

Technology and Automation

Offices have so many common touchpoints: elevator keys, doorknobs, remote controls, and even faucets in the common bathroom. All of this can be upgraded these days so that there won’t be too many touchpoints that your team can often use.

Automation is key in digital office technology. Smart homes can function from a touch on your phone via mobile apps; the same can be done in your office. From automated doors and windows to the thermostat and the projector in the meeting room, technology has innovated to make sure that office spaces are safer without compromising function. 

Reminders

Reminders

While everyone is conscious of the pandemic and is doing social distancing on a regular basis, when swamped with work, and with the innate need to socialize, every now and then we tend to forget that we should have at least a meter or two apart between us and the people with interact with.

Gentle reminders like floor signs, decals, and even announcements would go a long way as an extra measure of safety and security in the workspace. Scattered areas for sanitation and handwashing are also ideal, with several individual stalls or stands rather than one common area.

Remind your team to also enjoy a break in between their tasks. Allocate a space with books or games, or just recreation or chill areas that are not related to their work.

Let the outside in

Let the Outside In

When you design an office space, like in most interior design spaces, do not only consider the physical aesthetics of it; make sure to also consider other aspects. The pandemic brought about a higher number of mental health cases among professionals, especially those who are working from home, so make sure that the transition from that setup to going back to the office space is as smooth as possible.

Putting elements of nature in the workspace is one way to help your team members adjust to the new work environment. Plants, a small table fountain or a waterfall wall will help keep them calm and zen, and can even encourage boosted creativity and productivity. Creative office wall design ideas can also ignite the team members’ collaboration spirit with each other.

The new normal is here to stay so make sure that you design your workspace accordingly. It’s not just all about functionality; it’s also important to consider how it will affect the team members and their long-term health, both mental and physical.

Check out the tips we mentioned. Great investments in long-term and sustainable solutions, and it could also elevate the office space.

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