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Never before have employees had such freedom to decide where and at what times they want to perform their work duties. This flexibility is a challenge for employers, who will have to offer such solutions in the office, so that employees want to come to them. Experts from CBRE, the organiser of the Office Superstar competition, point to 5 office trends that are worth implementing now to attract staff to shared space.
– The pandemic has clearly highlighted certain phenomena that we had to deal with before. Flexibility in the labour market is nothing new, but never before have we worked remotely on such a scale. The disadvantages of a permanent home office have been exposed, including lack of interaction with others and poor work-life balance. Despite this, many employees will not return to the office permanently. And when they do, they expect amenities that working from home does not offer. This includes an attractive co-working space. In the Office Superstar contest, we look for and award those organisations which understand the current expectations of employees and successfully implement them in their offices – says Natalia Wenzławska, Deputy Director of Marketing and Communication at CBRE.
Trend 1: Shared work spaces
Office as a space for exchanging thoughts and common meetings – this is the main expectation of employees, who crave contact with others after many months of remote work. The office should not only offer a comfortable space to work, but also provide a place to relax, where one can talk freely with teammates. Add to this comfortable conference rooms, team rooms or an attractive common area where all employees can meet and you can be sure that your office will not be empty.
Trend 2: Security
Safety in the workplace has never been so important. The office should meet health and safety standards and limit the spread of viruses as much as possible. Basic measures include regular disinfection, the provision of disinfectants, masks and gloves for employees and a sufficient distance between desks. All these elements play an important psychological role by reassuring workers that their employer cares about their safety while at work.
Trend 3: Reducing stress levels
It is in the interest of employers to look after the health of their employees – better health means less absence from work. This is all the more important given that the pandemic has taken a toll on the psyche and health of many people. This is why modern offices should encourage people to take care of themselves. Ideas range from relaxation zones, providing access to dietary advice in the workplace, programmes encouraging exercise, healthy snacks available from food dispensers, to gym classes during lunch breaks.
Trend 4: Technology
The pandemic has made companies aware of the importance and need for offices equipped with the latest technology. Above all, adequate and modern teleconferencing systems allow the integration of distributed teams, which is currently a priority. Equally important are solutions supporting safety and comfort of employees. In the most modern facilities, it is possible, among others, to book an hour of arrival at the office, which allows to avoid queues, to take a lift to a selected floor without contact or to use an application to book a conference room for a meeting with one’s team or client.
Trend 5: A personalised approach
Every employee has different needs and different concerns about returning to the office. Therefore, companies should rely on a personalised approach whenever possible. It is worth first getting to know the needs and expectations of the staff, and then working out a return plan that is optimal for everyone. The mode of returning to offices, the model of work and planned facilities which may affect, among others, the comfort of joint work, should be clearly defined.