March 26, 2022

Creating A Post-Pandemic Office That Works

We’ve looked at three areas that should be considered when designing an office space in 2022 with a view to the longer term. These aren’t trends as such, as the data is showing us that some office evolutions during the pandemic have stuck around and will now be permanent fixtures of many offices moving forwards.


As we spoke about in our previous post, it’s now more important than ever to invest in furniture that has multiple uses and can be easily moved. For example, flip-top tables are a great way to provide a reliable workstation on days staff are in the office that can also be stored on the remote working days.

With high-quality office space in short supply, it’s important for even the most playful areas where people can relax to also have the capability to be used for laid-back meetings and brainstorming sessions.

WeWork also identify ‘touchdown spaces’ as an informal part of the office designed for short bouts of productivity. They come in many shapes and sizes, and typically allow an individual to fire off an email or less important task quickly. As they describe it; ‘Touchdown spaces can be a simple workstation, a standing desk in the lobby area, or a focus-enhancing phone booth offering isolation from the rest of the office’.

In addition, WeWork also identifies some of the benefits of agile workspaces:

Improved collaboration. The freedom to move around the office creates pockets of teamwork, experimentation, and creativity. Work isn’t restricted to a fixed location or a bank of desks, and ideas can be shared more easily between otherwise isolated departments.

Higher employee retention. For nine out of 10 millennials, the flexibility to choose where and when they work is more important than salary. Offering an agile space that meets this need helps to attract and retain top talent.

Better space efficiency. Even before the pandemic, businesses collectively wasted billions on unused desk space. A transition to an agile workplace is an opportunity to fully optimize an office layout, reclaiming dusty old meeting rooms or shedding space that’s no longer needed.

Higher employee satisfaction. Workplace flexibility is one of the main drivers of job satisfaction. An agile workplace supports this, encouraging workers to approach tasks on their own terms, and trusting them to manage their own time and workload effectively.

Increased productivity. As anyone with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones will tell you, the ability to remove yourself from a distracting environment has an enormous effect on productivity. An agile workplace provides space for workers to collaborate when the job requires it, and a space to get things done when it doesn’t.

Stress reduction

The pandemic has shown that people can work efficiently from home, illustrating the need for the office to provide an X-Factor that remote work is lacking. With many employers offering staff greater choice in how and where they work, office designers can broaden the discussion and ask what an employee actually needs at their disposal to get even better results.

In addition, not all employees need a computer’s glow on their face to formulate ideas or to get creative. Views to nature or meeting outside while walking can naturally rebuild energy lost while sitting all day. Offer access to nature through interior landscaping, fresh air and exterior views. Provide indoor-outdoor access and spaces to work if your climate allows. Nature and stress reduction go hand-in-hand, as well as natural light which also saves money on expensive energy bills.

You can view our space planning services here.

Segmenting the noise

A surprising amount of office anxiety and frustration can be avoided by simply organizing office activities based on the noise level. In a more mindful arrangement, spaces closest to the main entrance would accommodate louder activities – such as brainstorming – and those deeper into the space would host quieter, more focused work. In the post-pandemic office, people escaping the solitude of their home office may welcome a place to interact and collaborate in a social setting. It will be equally therapeutic for those seeking the respite of a quieter place as an escape from a noisy home environment.

It’s key for companies across all industries to recognize that some employees need quiet spaces and therefore must rely on office space to provide them. Others need to collaborate, requiring a space that can accommodate groups and moderate noise levels. Employees also need to socialize, and this necessitates a space that can allow higher levels of noise. These spaces must be respected in order to provide suitable wellbeing for staff. By allocating space based on the noise level required to perform the appointed task, a company can create an office that is a more efficient tool for everyone equally.

Closing thought

It’s clear that the time is now for businesses to create appealing spaces that are no longer gearing up for the pandemic, but what comes next.

Rethinking your office space? Get in touch here.


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