Covid to leave a lasting legacy on the workplace
Wednesday 19th January was the day when the Government encouraged employees to return to work, no longer asking people to work from home.
Yet all reports point to the same conclusion; that the pandemic has changed the concept of work, the workplace and workforce – potentially forever.
As employers seek to recruit premium talent, hybrid and flexible work, a focus on mental health, and hiring from outside major cities (choosing people based upon their ability rather than their locality), seem here to stay.
So, how is this affecting the workplace?
According to Julian Sargent, group managing director of Style, the UK’s leading moveable, folding and partitioning wall specialists, the demand for more fluid, open, adaptable and engaging workspace is giving architects and interior designers an exciting new challenge.
“Collaborative workspace was already a buzz word prior to Covid,” says Julian,” as employers were seeking to create an environment where employees enjoyed coming into, and could work in fluid teams enjoying the spontaneous exchanges of ideas in an atmosphere that supported their wellbeing.
“That previous collaborative model, however, was still catering for full office occupancy on most days.
“Now, with the post Covid hybrid working model looking set to be the norm, companies are re-thinking their space once again. Firstly, do they need as much floor space, secondly do they need the traditional rows of desks, and thirdly how can they make the office a place where employees are eager to come and feel rewarded by their time with colleagues.
“It’s resulting in new ways of creating flexible space, and Style’s working walls are growing in popularity – and we are also seeing increased demand for using moveable walls as writeable white boards and boards to pin ideas to.
“With wellbeing at the forefront of employers’ minds, there is also demand for quieter, segregated space yet this is often made flexible through a moveable wall so that it can be opened up for social events or networking.
“The interior design of offices is also changing fast, and with our moveable walls we are being increasingly asked to combine glass and solid walls, to bring more light and space into the workplace, while we often add interesting finishes to our solid operable walls that complement some stunning interior designs.
“It all points towards a future of offices becoming adaptable, fluid places where employees look forward to coming for part of their week, while working from home on the other days.”