A new working ethic
As employees slowly return to their offices, John Clark of Bracken Workspace Plus, discusses how the pandemic has changed the way people will work for years to come.
Last year at the height of the lockdown, when working from home became the new norm, many headlines were predicting the death of the office forever.
Whilst home working has suited some, for many others, the thought of spending another day trapped at home whilst juggling the kids and trying to take that important zoom call, has become too much to take.
It has become apparent that working from home brings a whole raft of problems as well as benefits and that a significant number of employees cannot wait to get back to the office.
One thing we can have total confidence in though, is that the workplace has changed irreversibly, and businesses now need to adapt in order to create a realistic and positive new environment for their employees.
The pandemic has forced us to reflect on what’s important in life and that applies to choosing a workspace too.
The stuffy office of old is gone and employers must now focus on people by enabling connections, driving ambition and enhancing collaboration. Furthermore, they must act as a hub rather than a 9-5 space for a full team.
Work environments must be flexible around the changing needs of a team, able to scale up and down, and above all else, be adaptable to personal preferences and workflows.
Providing an improved work/life balance and offering the right spaces for the right tasks will better engage employees who’ll know you’ve chosen a workspace that’s designed to help them produce their best.
Technology has enabled lots of industries and a huge proportion of the economy to continue functioning throughout the lockdown and well into the future.
But what’s been missing are those chance encounters that spark new ideas; the things you overhear, the reactions you witness, the last-minute meetings you get invited to attend and that general buzz of working with people again.
Offices that facilitate communities and shared working and leisure spaces play an often unrecognised role in creativity and strategic thinking. Re-enabling this for workers that relish bouncing off their colleagues will ensure businesses are able to craft brighter futures after such a dark period.
Quiet areas, outdoor spaces and facilities to host pop-up events, will be increasingly popular features that also play a crucial role in improving health and wellbeing – something which has to be prioritised by employers.
It has become clear that organisations that have staff welfare at their heart will reap the benefits in an engaged and productive workforce and an inspiring and relevant workplace is the foundation of this.
All of this thinking has accelerated trends that here at Bracken Workspace Plus we have been pursuing for a number of years.
Our office spaces in Leeds at The Tannery, Albion Court and Calls Wharf combine all the great parts about home working with the crucial parts of a workplace which enable employees to thrive.
Our buildings balance their impressive heritage with a striking contrast of contemporary interiors, modern art and cutting-edge design which includes break-out areas, stunning external spaces, central meeting facilities and the latest communication technology.
The lockdown has forced us to overcome many deep-rooted inefficiencies in the way that we previously worked, but if there is one positive to come out of the pandemic, it’ll be the way it plays a role in the future design, development and adaptation of workspace environments.
Whenever you choose to bring your team back to the office, carefully consider the contribution it will play, opt for one that makes coming to work a pleasure and remember people can’t do their best if they’re not in the best space.