How to get the most out of the new way of working

As every employer knows, providing a safe, stylish, and functional workspace is not as simple as it was before the pandemic. When not following a ‘work at home’ order, workers have returned to the office with new expectations and in the knowledge that the situation is fluid. Business owners are equally aware of the new need to be flexible and the fact that hot-desking and working from multiple locations, including home, is fast becoming the norm.

Mark Brown of Lismark Office Products explores how businesses can create a modern, flexible, and healthy space for their staff to thrive in.

Community and connection

Working at home has its advantages, but one thing most professionals agree on is that the sense of camaraderie people feel in happy workplaces is not as easy to replicate over video calls. However, as we move towards an era where workers no longer have allocated desks which they can personalise with plants and pictures, and from which they can interact with the same colleagues each day, companies need to think of new ways to instil a sense of community.

 As well as fostering a culture of communication and organising regular social events, this can come in the form of well-designed and comfortable breakout spaces where staff are actively encouraged to take regular breaks and interact with their colleagues.

A healthy workplace

An obvious benefit of the allocated desk system is that employees’ chairs, desks, and other equipment are aligned with their ergonomic needs. In a flexible working environment, it’s crucial to supply furniture that can be easily adjusted to suit the requirements of people of varying heights, weights, and mobility. Not only that, but it’s also important to make sure staff are given the necessary workplace assessments to identify their needs to keep them healthy when working in the office and at home.  

Intelligent office furniture

High-quality modern office furniture is built to last and look good, as well as to prevent the negative impact that sitting at the same desk all day can have on our health. Innovative ideas that more and more businesses are incorporating into their office space include:

  • Sit-stand desks and meeting tables, so employees can easily divide their time, spent sitting and standing in a way that suits them and doesn’t interrupt their work.
  • Acoustic pods and telephone pods for when people need to get away from the open-plan environment to concentrate on a task, make a phone call or hold a video meeting.
  • Meeting pods for informal brainstorming sessions and confidential staff meetings.
  • Modular work sofas that create an informal, inviting area to work on a laptop, catch up with a colleague, entertain a visitor or just take a break.

The best of both worlds

As the ‘great resignation’ phenomenon shows, many people are reassessing what career fulfilment means. Certainly, the days when employees accepted a 9 am – 5 pm day with a commute at each end of it as a fact of life are over. This, combined with the fact that more companies are now confident about allowing employees to work at home, means that offering the opportunity to work at home some of the time is more commonplace than ever. However, where it’s not possible, businesses can attract and retain staff by offering them flexible hours and WFH perks such as the freedom to take regular walks and proper lunch breaks.

Whatever work pattern employees follow in a post-pandemic world, the office will remain the hub of most businesses. But to stay relevant, it will look and feel very different to the office of the past.

 

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