The workplace market is constantly changing. The pandemic triggered some of these transformational processes but change was already happening. Lone Rooftop Building Intelligence posted a recent article that explores space utilization trends before and after the pandemic.
Let’s review some of the trends:
Pre Covid Trends
Flexible Spaces & Co working areas.
Co-working spaces and flexible areas have appeared since the early 2000s. Over time, the popularity of these spaces increased. “The idea of working alongside like-minded individuals, sharing ideas, increased productivity and cost benefits made this work environment an attractive investment for both employees and employers”.
Work and Space Fusion
Companies have increasingly begun to look for new office layouts that optimize the space use. For example, single work areas designed for multiple purposes. “ This idea has come to be known as work and space fusion. Benefits include the smoothing of workflows, increased collaboration and the creation of positive spillovers to other parts of a company”.
Experimental Workplace Design
Companies started to create spaces that look for workers' connection with the organization. Experimental Workplace Design is a space dedicated to “improved employee experiences” that looks to communicate the organization’s values and vision. “Creating an experimental workplace design can include anything from changes to layout, to reinterpreting how employees engage and communicate with each other”.
Even if some of these trends will not disappear, their use is declining. After the pandemic, workplaces showed their lack of flexibility. Health, freedom, and open spaces are some of the new requirements for workplaces.
Post Covid Trends:
The majority of people are working from home after the pandemic. This means that office spaces are empty. One solution is the design of hybrid workplaces. “This model is based on flexibility, adaptability and shared ownership that gives employees the freedom to make their own choices when it comes to where to work and when”.
Decommissioning Square Meters
Underutilized space is very common in office buildings. With the pandemic, employees have more autonomy to choose where they want to work and work from home ratios is scaling. “Enterprises need to decommission space they no longer need. Rotating employees between home and the office can hereby be a great strategy”.
De-densification of Individual Work Spaces
“Research by JLL has shown that for years a common trend has been assigning less and less space to individual employees”. But with a global pandemic, it is very important to reassign greater amounts of space to each individual employee. “A great way of making employees feel more comfortable, not cramped between other employees all while practicing social distancing”.
One key point about the above mentioned trends is that for each one of them, to get positive outcomes it is essential to integrate data. Companies should look to create great employee experiences and “giving people the freedom to make greater choices when it comes to how they do their work”. The key part is to analyse space utilization in order to optimize buildings and workspace to the latest standards.
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