Covid-19 has let the genie out of the bottle, and it’s hard to put them back inside. This is what many businesses are now finding with staff who’ve been enjoying the shift to working from home. No commute, more time with the family and greater flexibility have been the surprising pros of the transition to a work from home office. But there are benefits of an office environment that many people are missing; team collaboration, the zing that comes from sharing the office workspace and the creativity found in 'bump spaces'.

In this article we look at the future of hybrid jobs — where people get the best of both working from home and the office.

Why people love working from home

This is a no brainer. The pandemic has given office workers a taste of what many freelancers have known for years about the benefits of working from home, including:

  • Saving time on the daily commute
  • Enjoying more time with family
  • Saving money on your lunch
  • Getting to work in your sweatpants

And there’s more. The pandemic has finally given many businesses hard data on what their teams get out of this increased flexibility, with reports of boosts in productivity too.

The challenges of working from home

But for all the pros, there are cons too. For all the businesses reporting increased productivity, many are reporting drops in productivity too. Other negatives include:

  • Difficulties in separating work from home life
  • Working more hours
  • Feeling isolated
  • Struggling to stay focused

For managers and business owners, there’s another big downside to having your team working remotely — missing out on the benefits of collaboration and on-the-fly communication where creative ideas are discussed and solutions to problems happen - often in the breakout area over a coffee!

The best of both worlds

Everyone is different. While an extroverted personality might thrive in a large, open planned space, a more introverted person might appreciate the quiet of a home desk. It’s not surprising then that research shows:

  • 43% of Australian workers preferred to work completely at home
  • 30 % of Australian workers preferred to work completely at the office
  • 27 % of Australian workers wanted a mix of both

In order to address all of these issues, many businesses are now wanting to create a workspace where their teams can get the benefits of working from home, while still getting the chance to get everyone together for collaboration and comradery.

The need for teams to get together, even if just a few times a week, also addresses the very real relationships people build at work and the social benefits many people derive from interactions with co-workers.

So what does the new office look like?

Businesses need to get on board quickly, if they want to innovate and adapt to these changes — especially if they want to attract and retain their best people.

With people still working from home, accessing an appealing and practical workspace is more important than ever. Some of the biggest trends to adopt in your office environment will include:

  • More bump spaces: Traditionally offices used to comprise approximately 80% work stations and 20% meeting and conference spaces. It’s time to flip these numbers around. Businesses benefit from collaboration and people want to bounce ideas off each other. Boosting bump spaces, where people can discuss projects and new ideas will also boost morale, strengthen your workplace’s culture, increase innovation and improve productivity.
  • Covid safety in mind: Until a vaccine is developed and distributed, creating a covid safe environment will continue to be important, giving your team much needed peace of mind. Some innovations include thermo body scanners at building entrances, while inside floor plans will see people adopt one-way hallways.
  • Bigger floor space: While at the start of the pandemic many predicted the end of the office, there has been an increase in demand for bigger office spaces with many businesses creating covid safe spaces by expanding their workspaces so people can spread out.
  • Tech matters even more: With remote working here to stay, it’s now more important than ever that your business has up-to-date tech solutions for your team, designed to make working from home or the office as seamless as possible.
  • Reduced touch points: From the elevator buttons to the printer, businesses are using technology to reduce (or totally eliminate) touch points in the workplace.
  • Antimicrobial materials: In new builds, we’ll also see an increase in the demand of antimicrobial materials. So instead of hard to clean fabrics, people will want materials that are easy to clean.

Creating an office space and workplace culture that gives your team the best of working from home and in the office means your business is more productive and is better at attracting and retaining talent.

Vestra can help you with your covid safe workplace needs

Are you currently looking to make changes to your office space to accommodate the changing needs of your team? Or maybe you have a question about your office refurbishment plans? If so, our expert office design and fit out team can help.

We’re a full-service office fit out company with expert planners, designers, project managers and builders with years of expertise designing high-end creative workspaces

We take the time to get to know you and go on walkthroughs of your site and plan the right workspace for your team, which includes:

  • Bespoke joinery options
  • Audio-visual and technology solutions
  • Electrical, data and lighting needs
  • Office furniture selection

We also offer you a smooth process, and a solid portfolio.