After two years of experimenting with our working environments, the beginning of 2022 marks a fresh slate for many. Business owners will be considering what their next move might be when it comes to their workspace as priorities have shifted and needs have changed. The office is no longer simply a room to put your people in. It elevates your brand, nurtures culture and is the glue that holds your team together just as much as it is the asset that turns the dial of return on investment of your employees.
You might choose to invest in your people this year and evolve your company culture as a result, or perhaps you’re hoping to create, or move into, an inspiring and engaging environment that’ll allow your employees to flourish. Either way, at Thirdway, our team of analysts, designers and consultants are well placed to help you figure what your workplace means to your business now and ensure it’ll be fit for the future. Not sure where to begin? Here are five tips to get you started…
1. INVEST IN SPACE. IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY’LL COME.
The list of new-found responsibilities for the office may be endless, but immersing teams in well-designed, quality environments is already proving to be a valuable asset, resulting in a fresh wave of productivity amongst teams. Whether new, refitted, or retrofitted to a high standard, companies are now willing to pay more if it means transforming their office into a destination where employees both wish to be in and find inspiring.
The aesthetics of space can set the bar in terms of quality through colours, moods and design elements, such as biophilia and lighting. Paired with the growing need for inviting environments to tempt employees back to the office, workplace design has been taking more frequent cues from residential and hotel settings, a natural evolution, perhaps, of the typical home comforts we’ve been used to and further shedding a more welcoming light on the workplace.
2. TECHNOLOGY IS A DRIVER, YOUR OFFICE NEEDS TO FOLLOW SUIT.
Although four day working weeks and meetings in the metaverse might be a way off yet for many of us, the workplace has already evolved to become more dynamic than ever before as it flexes to suit new technologies, collaborative spaces, hot desking, on-demand amenities, zoom rooms and more.
As a result, floor plates have pivoted to accommodate more booths and quiet meeting areas to suit the rise in virtual calls, whilst strategically placed acoustics continue to solve open-plan video conferencing and the present day challenge of nailing a hybrid meeting. With technology fast becoming smarter, it’s prompted us to work and collaborate in new and more efficient ways. Workplaces will soon have no choice but to follow suit as tech continues to develop and push boundaries in 2022. Get your VR headsets at the ready.
3. EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING. MAKE IT MEANINGFUL.
If the past year has taught us anything, it’s the value of our physical environment. Workspaces are now designed for people to want to be in; where they experience work in a way that can’t be achieved from even the best purpose-built home office. For those that rely on team-based collaboration, the need for a good working environment is indispensable.
Your office also plays an active part in defining your company culture, facilitating business plans and productivity. It’s also part of a much more rounded package of brand, management, HR, and leadership initiatives that design, create and maintain it. Nurturing culture when you’re not all together brings new challenges and emphasizes the value of designing and curating the working experience you wish your employees to have.
4. DESIGN TO ATTRACT TALENT.
Spaces now need to promote wellness, collaboration and community. Not just to tempt existing staff back, but to attract and retain people in a talent war that will only get fiercer as the disparity between company benefits gets wider. Catered restaurants, lounges, gyms, and even spin studios are all exciting possibilities that are rapidly being explored within workplace design.
Our recent project for Mindful Chef is a perfect example of this, having been designed with people and community at the heart of it, boasting a gym with Peloton bikes, a corporate kitchen and breakout space to host daily complimentary lunches for the team and after-hours events.
5. ALIGN YOUR OFFICE DESIGN & SUSTAINABILITY ASPIRATIONS.
Sustainability re-defined itself in the Covid-19 era. We even coined it “the end of the would if we could excuse”. We saw an increase in the use of sustainable materials and furnishings with our projects and more aspirations to achieve LEED, Fitwell, BREEAM and SKA accreditations. Our renewed connection with nature manifested its way into designs, building features and biophilia – something that will only continue to innovate this year and beyond as greener buildings, workplace environments and wellbeing considerations become more important. If you’re unsure where to start with aligning your sustainability aspirations with your workplace environment, Thirdways ESG consultants are on board to advise.
THE OUTCOME YOU NEED.
While we are, first and foremost, interior designers, we’re part of a network of architects, furniture dealers, proptech experts, managed service providers, and experiential property marketing specialists. Our workplace consultancy, design and delivery teams help tenants define and create their perfect workspaces.
Now we’ve shared our five top tips to get you thinking, get in touch with our workplace experts today so we can help turn your thoughts into a reality.
"The key to future office design is the ability to enhance user experience and promote productivity" Rameez Raja, Head of Design.
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