The office of tomorrow doesn’t sit still. Here’s what employers need to know about the dynamic office and how to prepare for it.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the modern workplace as we knew it, the open office was common across all industries.
Proponents of open offices claimed this layout accommodated both focus work and collaboration. However, a 2018 study published by the Royal Society in the U.K. found that rather than promote collaboration, open offices discouraged it. Employees spent 73% less time interacting face-to-face, while email and messaging use increased by 67%.
Today, everything has changed. Because the pandemic has proven most workers can still perform efficiently while remote, today’s employees have more say over their working arrangements.
That being said, many would like to continue working remotely at least some of the time — and employers are listening. In CBRE’s 2020 Workforce Sentiment Survey, 66% of employees reported wanting to split their week between home and the office while 91% of managers preferred or were fine with embracing a hybrid model.
The rise of the dynamic office
Because much of society was stuck at home for months on end, many vaccinated individuals are eager to come back to the office and be around their colleagues again. However, this novelty is likely to wear off as time passes, and the office will need to offer employees something they can’t get from their homes or local coffee shops.
Collaboration is the most obvious reason to come into the workplace, but you’ll also see employees with families or roommates who need a place to focus away from the distractions at home. Meanwhile, younger employees may want to come into the office for the mentorship and professional development opportunities that arise from sharing a space. And as the open office has proven, meeting these demands well will require more intentional spaces.