Three Inventive Ways to Update Your Office
Last year due to the pandemic, a large population of the corporate workforce was required to pivot to a work from home model. Despite the extenuating circumstances, the majority of companies couldn’t get out of their leases, which translated to a lot of unused office space and empty cubicles for months on end. Even though many companies continued to thrive under COVID-19-related duress, their physical office locations turned into ghost towns.
However, the situation is changing in 2021. With a vaccine finally (but slowly) being administered to the public, there’s hope on the horizon that the American worker will return to the office and things will get back to normal. Or at the very least, a few steps closer to normal. Now that employers know that their workforce will be migrating back to their corporate locations, it has upper-level management thinking about how best to prepare the environment so that it’s both welcoming and adaptable. The following are our favorite office design trends of 2021.
Flex Work Space
Not all employees will be coming back immediately, nor will they all be full-time at the office. Many companies will be putting their employees on what’s known as a hybrid-schedule, meaning that part of the time they’ll be reporting to the office just as they normally would, but on certain days they’ll be working from home. Potentially, an employee may only report to their corporate office 40% of the time, which means the other 60% of the time their workspace will be going unused.
With flex work space though, this is no longer the case. Companies are now investing in areas in which any employee can plug in and work. It’s communal, and therefore, not beholden to any specific employee. From a design standpoint, this effectively eliminates any wasted office space and can maximize the amount of employees you can house at any given time, just so long as you get the scheduling right.
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we need to be adaptable to the situation. In regards to COVID-19 specifically, that means making sure that all employees have a separation of at least 6’ from one another to ensure proper safety protocols. For some companies who didn’t have that before, it meant a lot of rearranging of cubicle walls and furniture, which was surely an inconvenience. This got upper-level management asking themselves “How can we make our office as agile as we are?”
The answer is moveable furniture. Companies now are investing in things like desks and cubicle walls with wheels affixed to the bottom of them, which makes rearranging the office a simple endeavor compared to dealing with furniture that is stationary. This also allows employees to put together makeshift pods of desks for private meetings and collaboration sessions, thus, decreasing the reliance on conference rooms.
Bigger, Brighter, and More Comfortable
When the pandemic impacted the country, it gave companies a chance to take a good hard look at their offices and think about their aesthetic. For the most part, the people that are working from home love their environment because they’re in their own element. Everything is laid out and designed just the way they like it, and they definitely have more space compared to their standard work cubicle back at the office.
In 2021, companies know that asking their employees to come back to work is going to be a huge adjustment for some. They don’t want their workforce to come back to a cold or corporate environment, which is why they’re pushing for bigger, brighter, and more comfortable. In addition to giving employees more personal space and adopting more of an open office concept, many companies are investing the dollars to make the offices aesthetically brighter with more comfortable furniture. Paintings, plants, and décor intended to boost the mood and please the eye are becoming more commonplace in corporate culture. More vibrant colors like yellow and green are becoming the core of the color palette, shifting away from neutrals like grey and beige. Also, companies are investing in more comfortable office chairs, lounges, and even large couches. The idea is that if employees know they’re going to be comfortable at work, the change back to a corporate setting will be less of a culture shock.
Come By Santa Fe Office Interiors Today
Santa Fe Office Interiors has been working with several companies who are preparing to bring their workforce back into an office setting. We sell new and used office furniture here in the Kansas City area, including partitions, desks, office chairs, and anything you may possibly need for your newly designed office environment.
The best way to see what we can offer you is by visiting our store at 8106 Santa Fe Dr. in Overland Park, KS. We always keep a large stock and wide variety of products on our showroom floor.
If you’d like to set an appointment, call us at 913-901-8800.