The New New Normal

To put it simply, the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the way we work. We already knew this. We’ve all been living in the “new normal” for well over a year now. It’s time again for another “new normal” and that is getting ourselves and our employees back into the office. Work from home brought with it many freedoms but also many losses. The question now is how can you satisfy your employees who are eager to come back, craving face-to-face time but also those that found their groove working from home and grew to love their newfound flexibility? Enter the hybrid approach. We already know that working from home works and it works well. But it’s time to get our people back together, so let’s do both. 

Ups and Downs of WFH

Covid-19 was declared a global health crisis and many companies had to rise to the occasion, quickly rethink and completely overhaul their way of working. With the safety of employees being the top priority, for many, this meant going completely remote. In turn, the percentage of employees who worked from home over the last year skyrocketed.  

As the world adopted new ways of working, technology became key and zoom calls took the place of, well everything. Although this was an adjustment for many, people quickly found that being completely remote came with several unexpected silver linings: no commute, rise in productivity, dog walks throughout the day, lunch while you work, and more. 

So while some of the workforce were finding more time at home to be a good thing, there were plenty who were burnt out and feeling lonely. The casual morning chats over coffee and the water cooler conversations seemingly vanished overnight. Employees craved human interaction, company culture, and a clear divide between home life and work life. 

Out with cubicles, in with the clubhouse

So we know there are two types of workers we need to plan for, remote and in-person. Time to get creative. Bottom line – we need to create a place that people WANT to be. When we think of somewhere we want to work we picture a “clubhouse”. Think dedicated space for different working styles, mixtures of soft seating and hard office seating, and open floor plans. In our “clubhouse”, there will be space that is conducive to the collaboration of people in the office and people working remotely, thoughtful spacing of furniture and workstations, and of course cleanliness. The creation of this type of work environment will help retain employees and draw in new talent.

The challenge of reopening your workplace does not come with a one size fits all solution. There is a lot to think about when beginning this journey. Lucky for you, our expert team of interior designers and architects are here to help you determine the best layout to drive productivity, collaboration, and safety for your employees.