Future workplaces: 3 ways COVID is changing the office design

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted just about every element of our lives. From work to socialising, exercise to grocery shopping, there hasn’t been a daily activity that, for better or worse, hasn’t been affected by this ghastly pandemic.

One thing COVID will have a big impact on is the way businesses design their office space. Sure, many of us are getting used to working from home, what with all the PJs and chilling back when we want, but there will come a time when we have to return to the office for at least a couple of days a week!

So, what does this mean for workplace design? Let’s take a look at the ways the pandemic will influence the future of office fitouts in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and beyond.

  • Hygiene-via-tech

Everyone was already aware of how quickly a virus can spread throughout an office, as we all remember those gross winters when the sound of a colleague coughing was enough to send you running from the hand sanitiser before it was an intrinsic part of our daily lives.

To avoid the risk of future germ-spreading, businesses are looking towards biometric and sensor-driven technology that helps employees limit their contact with multiple surfaces (when unnecessary). This includes aspects like sensor-driven bathroom faucets and flushes – these will not only alleviate unnecessary contact, but will also conserve energy and water.

What’s more, solutions like Acer’s antimicrobial solutions for touchscreen surfaces will become more essential to workplace hygiene as a way to reduce ongoing cleaning. Finally, air quality will be an important element of ensuring germs don’t have the ability to spread freely: enter upgraded HVAC systems that work to clean the air.

  • Comfort is key

Employees may feel a little uneasy about returning to the office, so as well as making staff feel safe and hygienic, businesses will also need to work on ensuring they are comfortable.

The best way to do this? Work on making the office as warm and inviting as possible. Things that increase the overall comfort of the office are great for increasing a sense of calm and happiness, with aspects like stylish, versatile Missamara rugs for the floor and curtains to maintain optimal lighting levels without allowing the space to become too hot.

Of course, you shouldn’t skip out on high quality furniture for each and every employee. It doesn’t matter if they are a department head or an intern – your office should be replete with ergonomic furniture that helps aid happiness and productivity. People work better in comfortable environments, and this can only be good for business – why wouldn’t you want this for your workplace?!

Greeny is simply great…

People shouldn’t have to work in cold, sterile areas. By the time we start returning to offices, we will have had around two years of feeling like we were in a dystopian nightmare, and our workplaces shouldn’t be a continuation of that. Instead, why not make your office space a utopia?

The key to making this happen? Create a very blurred line between whether your staff are working indoors, in an office space, or outdoors amongst the peace and serenity of a lush park. It doesn’t take much to maintain healthy plants in a workplace, and you can obviously hire people to do it while your team gets on with the job at hand.

Plantation increases calm, and calm leads to heightened productivity – it’s a green option for a winning workplace.

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