The past year has been a very turbulent period for everybody and one of the overlooked social casualties is the office. Despite last summer seeing some normality returning many offices haven't been open to staff for a long time due to working from home being preferable for obvious reasons.
However there is some light at the end of the tunnel. With the UK's vaccine rollout going at full tilt it seems as though by the end of this summer life will return to what it was like pre-pandemic, meaning business across the country will be able to welcome back their staff. In the meantime you may wish to consider whether you can make any changes to your workspace that will provide staff with everything they need to work efficiently. We've compiled a handy list of five of the biggest trends and ideas for offices in 2021 to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Unassigned Seating & Hot Desking
Although the concept of flexible workspaces, more commonly known as 'Hot Desking', has been around for many years this system seems perfectly suited to the pandemic recovery period. Many business may opt for a staggered return of their workforce and having the ability to easily distance people from others could come in handy in case of any change in laws and regulations.
Additionally, allowing people to choose where they sit instead of giving them one set workspace will allow for more collaboration with employees and can positive effect on productivity and efficiency. Groups of people can work together in close proximity and will allow them to carry out their tasks quicker, plus everybody will be desperate to catch up with their colleagues in person after being separated for so long!
2. Access to Private Workspaces
On the other end of the spectrum it will also be important to have areas in your office where people can work privately and away from others. Even though social distancing isn't likely to be mandatory, there will be staff who still wish to carry on doing this for their own safety. Therefore there should be somewhere to accommodate their needs.
Boundaries and barriers like screens, curtains and walls are helpful tools to achieve this and they can also be used to improve office acoustics and are easily utilised as design features.
On our online store we currently have a large range of Office Partitions available including Desk Mounted Screens, Floor Standing Screens, Hanging Screens as well as a selection of Pods & Cubicles.
3. Technology Integration
Working at home has helped video conferencing platforms like Skype and Zoom rise to become some of the most sought-after and vital tools in everyday business, and they aren't going away anytime soon.
Having the ability to be flexible with your clients and suppliers when it comes to communication will be key, therefore having the capability to hold online meetings as well as in-person ones will be the way forward for a very long time.
4. Employee Wellbeing
It's a possibility that after a long period of time some employees may be sceptical about returning due to the fact offices are often enclosed spaces where social distancing isn't always applicable. The mental health of employees has risen to the very top of priorities when designing the perfect workspace.
Providing spaces where employees can relax and take a break from their desk has become one of the most crucial areas of any office and given the events of the last year items like screens, sanitising stations and general cleanliness could also be considered.
Foursquare Workspace have delivered many breakout spaces for clients over the years but a highlight was the Fun Room that was created for a confidential client. It included areas where staff could relax and unwind with soft seating as well as a number of arcade games.
5. Sustainable Materials
In recent years the whole world has become a lot more aware of how our daily life is affecting our environment and tweaking certain aspects of offices can go a long way to helping this.
Using furniture that is made by sustainable materials will help to future proof your office while also helping the environment. Additionally, the inclusion of indoor plants and biophilic designs may help employee wellbeing and help inject more colour into your workspace.
Our Range of acoustic furniture from Allsfar is made of up to 60% PET (Polyethylene Terephalate), meaning the materials used are made up of recycled plastic bottles. The products themselves are also fully recyclable.
If you need any help adapting or completely refurbishing your office we'd be happy to help! Contact us on 0800 6347 415 or email@example.com to talk to one of our experts today!