Has your workplace adapted?
Have you seen your workplace adapt to a post pandemic world? The pandemic pushed workplace evolution much faster than at any time since the invention of the cubicle [shivers in horror]. And now that we’re back into the office it’s time to reassess our needs as humans in a work environment.
What changes have you noticed in your workplace? Maybe they are just small changes you’ve noticed like tasty snacks in the fridge or more gifts for the staff, or maybe your workplace has made bigger changes like hybrid or flexible working?
We’ve spotted some trends over the past year, and we can split them into these areas:
One area that has seen a lot of changes is how our offices and workspaces actually look and how they work for hybrid and flexible working. One of our clients has installed 6 phone booths into an office of 40 people because they spend so much of their time making calls (for personal issues as well as work) and have created more privacy for their staff than a normal open plan office might usually have.
A number of our client have split their client facing and staff facing areas into very different styles. The client facing areas are more classic and tell the story of who they are as a company, and the staff areas have been quirkier and reflect who the staff are.
One of our clients, an insurance firm, wanted their new office to be “oh that office with all the art and the pool table and DJ desk”. They WANT their clients, competitors and network to come to their office because it’s so cool and different. That’s part of their strategy now – be the cool office everyone wants to come to. That is how they are winning business and it’s a genius idea.
Wellbeing isn’t just a buzzword, people really are acting on it and creating strategies around it. One client has a lot of staff on the autism spectrum (diagnosed or undiagnosed), and they have included a large relaxing space in their office for people to go and recharge and spend time away from it all. We put some relaxing but interesting work in that space. For them it was a no brainer – they knew what type of employees they had and how best to support them. What kind of artwork would suit your break out spaces?
But it isn’t always that easy to know what to provide for people’s wellbeing and mental health, which is why office managers often now create a large menu of things to support people. The prevalence of mental health first aiders is laudable, and this is now often combined with mental health days, counselling and wellbeing activities, like our Sculpting with Playdough workshop. It’s a combination of support and taking away any stigma by making it ordinary.
There has been a sharp rise in people enquiring about our events recently, and there are two main reasons; the first is for wellness workshops – giving people a break at lunch time from the daily mental slog, and the second is to bring people in the office together. Creating community.
On top of this some companies have had a struggle brining people back to the office and guess what, they’re the ones that haven’t adapted. Those who have had less of a struggle have realised that office life is an experience to be enjoyed and should involve an agile and well-designed workplace with plants and art, provide wellbeing support and be a place where you collaborate and have fun with your colleagues. We’ve noticed a lot of office managers are now Workplace Experience Managers, and for good reason.
We’ve put a lot of sculptures into receptions recently, and honestly, we’ve been so excited to do those projects because there’s nothing like walking into your work building and smiling that you’ve arrived. We create those smiles and that’s why we love what we do.
In the drive to “push” people back to the office, building managers have realised that the entrance is the beginning of the work journey for staff and visitors. So, as well as sculpture we’ve seen receptions turn into a series of min lounges – design led chairs surrounding trendy rugs and mid-century modern side tables. They are now communal spaces for people to come together or have meetings or just take a break.
Has your office done any of these? If you haven’t and you’re interested in knowing how our services can help your office adapt, contact firstname.lastname@example.orgContact Us