It is safe to say that that the pandemic and the new ‘normal’ of working from home (WFH) created a whole new language, a number of memes, and a fair few new acronyms; but now in a post-pandemic world there is a whole new language and debate around going back to the office. So how can companies entice their workers to return to their offices, even if it is just for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (TWAT)?
Kayla Vella, Client Relationship and Marketing Manager at Pexhurst, said: “Companies are changing their business models to reflect this new hybrid working reality. Hub-and-spoke models where there is a central office hub with smaller satellite offices are becoming increasingly popular – the satellite can be another office, your home, or even a café! The flex workspace model is also seeing growth. It is essentially a shared office space or co-working space which is popular for companies looking to trigger new collaborations. This model is also popular in places like London where rent is often higher.”
But whatever the model a company chose, encouraging staff to return to the office is often seen as key to a company’s future success.
“The office space is changing, some people talk about the ‘hotelification’ of offices, but I believe there is so much more to it than just attempting to entice staff back by creating a diverse range of high-quality amenities that they can’t get at home – similar to a hotel.” Kayla argues. “It is about staff wellbeing. The benefits of a company bringing their staff together is well documented. The office provides a place where you can be part of a community and where positive social engagements can take place for collaborative purposes, but it also needs to be a place where it is possible to find privacy and a space to focus too.
“A well-designed office space can help to give staff a feeling of belonging. Open plan offices can be noisy affecting an individuals’ ability to concentrate and as a result, negatively affecting their productivity. Getting the balance right and managing acoustics is key to allowing design and wellbeing to work harmoniously and ultimately creating an environment in which employees are proud of.” Kayla concludes.
On this note, Pexhurst have carried out an eight-week fit out and refurbishment of a first floor office space in the heart of the city of London. A new snug room was created, providing an enjoyable and stimulating space for staff to collaborate in, or a place just to chill out! Quiet work rooms were all created and designed with acoustic attenuation offering staff that much needed privacy within a busy city office.
Mechanical and electrical services were replaced throughout the office including the latest LED panel lighting equipped with environmental controls and extensive AV installations for conference facilities. The common area in the lift area vicinity was designed and reconfigured to produce an open space where visitors could be greeted. Throughout the open plan office areas, new carpet was laid, with unique designs for the snug, boardroom, and meeting room areas.
Architectural lighting with mood controls were designed to complement the design of the rooms. A substantial joinery package involved new door sets, storage and display units, bespoke tea points with stainless steel, and Terrazzo finishes and composite resin fixed desk benching to quiet rooms. For convenience, a shower room was created, fully equipped to refresh staff after a hard commute into London!
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