The start of the pandemic meant the start of a new work culture with working from home, the digitalisation of work, Zoom calls and remote communication being now part of our professional lives.
But now that some workplaces are back to the office full time and some are adopting a hybrid work week, how do we get used to being in the office again? Here are our tips on how to revive work culture and make the office space an attractive place to be again.
Give people the perks of working from home
One of the benefits of working from home quoted in a New York Times article is greater productivity, so the obvious solution is to create the conditions that your employees need to be productive. Key elements in achieving a high level of productivity are privacy, organisation and general comfort in the workspace. With just a few simple changes you can provide your staff with the right conditions to boost their motivations and morale! Offer your staff the privacy they need by setting up acoustic pods in the office so they can have that private Zoom call or some alone time for brainstorming. Keep the office neat and organised by investing in the right storage , whether that’s additional shelves, storage baskets, cupboards or filling systems. Give employees the chance to personalise their space, whether that is with an inspirational mood board or with keepsakes to make the work office feel as homely and welcoming as their home office.
Go the extra mile
No matter how comfortable and organised our home offices have become, chances are the space or budget didn’t allow for certain important additions that a workplace can easily offer. Show your employees that you care about their well being by making some additional investments in office ergonomics or upgrading your shared spaces. Why not addmovement chairsto your office seating? Or change the look and feel of your canteen with some new stool or tables? You can even go the extra mile and add a living wall as a unique feature to your office. These types of additions can add a welcoming note to your office space and show your employees that you are willing to invest in their well-being by offering things that their own home offices can’t provide.
Bring back team bonding
The thing we’ve missed the most during the pandemic is socialising, so a key step in reviving work culture is reviving those moments, during work or during breaks, where your team gets to bond. Have you cancelled your fresh fruit and veg office delivery? It’s time to bring it back! Stock up on beverages and snacks and turn the staff room into a place where your employees can meet up and have those infamous water cooler moments again.
And while staff room chats and canteen lunches still need to follow safety measures, that doesn’t mean that you can’t bring team bonding back. Upgrade your shared spaces with some modular seating that can allow for easy communication while maintaining a safe distance. Are team meetings back? Invest in a meeting pod so that different teams can have those important chats that make the office an exciting place to be.
Don’t forget about safety
Safety is still a priority for most people as anxieties around the pandemic persist. You can put your staff’s health and safety concerns at ease in just a few simple steps: follow government guidance, keep your office well stocked with hand sanitisers and wipes and make a couple of key furniture rearrangements to keep everyone safe.
Think out of the box and get inspired by other workplaces of the future. Is hot desking a feasible option for your workplace? Then replace the bulky desks with some sleek mobile workstations that can be easily moved around to follow social distancing rules. You could also opt for desk screens that offer safety if the office space doesn’t allow for social distancing. While you try to revive work culture, don’t forget that the pandemic isn’t over and showing awareness can reassure your staff that the office is a safe place to be and draw them back towards the benefits of sharing a space with their peers.
As we think about the workplace of the future and reinventing our workspaces it is important to consider the flexibility, social interaction and work culture people need after the pandemic and office design can answer those needs and help revive work culture.