Companies are trying to get back to the new normal even as 54% of those surveyed prefer to work remotely or on a hybrid work model, reports Webex.com. Many companies have changed their layouts to manage the social distancing and other norms of Covid 19. However, commercial office design was present much before Covid too. Therefore, a little has changed in terms of the new normal. This article focuses on commercial office design and how it impacts office workers.
The current trends are highly focussed on being natural, blending in the outsides with the insides. The new trends of the commercial office building design focus on the need for being safe and healthy, thus preventing Covid. Social distancing, open office spaces, a place for sanitizers as you step into an office, automated accesses, and automated hand wash, and more are on the top priority of most designers.
Google, the pioneer in setting up an open office with rows and rows of office desks, is now seeking a change in its modern commercial office design. Post-Covid, as per employees' feedback, they have consulted office space designers. As a result, office spaces are now being converted to team pods. With each informal team pod, called Camp Fire, there is space for collaborative working, conference calling, and working as a team. With rollaway storage space and other furniture items, you can quickly set up the team pods for most team meetings. But, of course, these team spaces are not the only thing. Enter the Balloon walls, which make space private for each employee, reports New York Times.
The architect magazine reports the need for Co-working spaces and how the Covid has affected it. Co-working spaces are going to be less in demand unless companies include them as satellite offices. This could depend upon the geographic density of each office/ branch office and the need for the same.
Here are the best five creative commercial office design ideas to get inspiration offered by commercial office space design.
Best Five Creative Commercial Office Design Ideas to Get Inspiration
1. Informal Workspaces
Flex Jobs recently carried out a study for Mental Health America (MHA). It found that eighty percent of those surveyed had concerns about their mental health. They believed that the pandemic had impacted their mental health. Workplace flexibility is a high need as a solution. The report suggested that 66% of employees want to continue working remotely even after the pandemic; another 33% wanted to shift to a hybrid workplace model. Other organizations like Microsoft have found similar results.
All studies are pointing to being highly productive when working at informal workplaces.
As most offices come back to 'business as normal, 82% employees say that their productivity was perhaps higher or equal to, than when they were at the office, pre-Covid. This is the basis of a study by Microsoft in Europe. In addition, Forbes magazine reports the need to offer a flexible working environment and informal workspaces to employees to be at their best.
Employers are doing their best to offer employees lounge spaces for a relaxed working environment. Rather than aiming directly for productivity, companies are looking to have employees safe and in good health. They are following the principle that happier employees will be more productive.
Including lounges in modern commercial office design, spaces give various benefits. For example, employees can socialize, work at leisure, take a short break from their work desk, have informal catch-up in comfort, and yet be in the office; this reduces time away from work during office hours.
2. Collaborative Work Environments
A survey by Great Places to Work reports that 54% of employees surveyed do not want to return to the office. Another similar study by Forbes puts this number at 81% but in the US. Instead, employees are looking to collaborate to solve problems and offer solutions globally. Gone are the days of regional teams only. Various collaborative tools like Autonomous Hybrid and Autonomous Jam are offering integrated hardware solutions transforming the way companies work.
Companies like Google and Facebook intentionally broke silos by mixing up team seating. Google realized that having separate teams in separate offices had created their own culture of approaching and providing a solution to a business problem. With the new collaborative set-ups, folks could mix up with other teams, understanding their point of view on a business problem.
3. Bringing the Outside, Indoors
Studies suggest that being close to nature helps human beings be fresh and stress-free. Commercial office designs are building this into their work. For example, offices see large windows for sunlight to be a natural source of light as much as possible.
You could always have trendy office wall decor and arrange planters around the office. Did you know that planters can absorb noise and act as natural screens instead of having plastic, metallic, or fabric boards? For executive offices, you could always consider some good luck plants or more. Many offices usually have a water body arranged in their lobby or common areas to bring nature. Increasing greenery also covers the need for better air quality because of the Covid times.
4. Use of Technology
Technology cannot be left behind in today's age. On the contrary, it has a critical role in energizing office and build-in touch-free spaces and accesses. In addition, the use of lighting, acoustics, safety and security, other employee services, and more are impacted by the technology used. Hence, provisioning for technological designs and needs is the need of the hour.
Most systems tend to be a one-stop-shop rather than have the user go to various access points. Employee demands stem from facial recognition software, space for communication, instant access to virtual calling, and more. Thus, while designing, there is a need for an integrated hardware solution.
Even with technology, you cannot miss productive colors that can make an office space inspirational.
5. Eco-friendly Elements
As most offices turn eco-friendly, companies are keen to include eco-friendly measures in their spaces. This encourages and builds a positive image of the company by visitors and its employees. Reducing carbon footprint may be a number at a national level. However, it adds a feel-good value at a human level that employees surely are proud to participate in. In fact, in many companies, it adds to employee engagement initiatives.
Here are some more creative office ideas.
Making commercial office designs employee-friendly, collaborative, and safe for all stakeholders could be an uphill task for the designers. Therefore, most principles this article shares are trends for 2021, the year of recovery from the pandemic.
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