As we all know, the pandemic has changed so many things in so many individuals' lives, including how daily tasks get completed, how we work, where we work, etc., and this is the same for the way post-pandemic office interior design. The pandemic created new needs for offices regarding functionality and design, highlighting aspects of workspaces that aren't necessary anymore.
When it comes to work-life after the pandemic, it is clear that the way individuals work has completely changed. We've gone from working 9-5 jobs in an office space to being entirely remote for a new mix of the two: some at home, some in the office, and some hybrid. With this unique working style, the way offices are designed has changed to meet the needs of many different aspects that were previously overlooked.
Trends emerge as businesses redesign their spaces to maximize workplace productivity and efficiency. Office interior designs have changed from a multitude of individual workspaces to a larger group conference format. With many individuals being hybrid employees, the need for individual spaces has decreased, turning those in-office days into days, most workers participate in office-wide meetings. Office spaces have also evolved in the creative aspect. Many studies have shown that being in an environment that promotes learning and creativity and feels comfortable is essential to workers' development and mental health. This might include adding new perks to being an employee, such as a gym membership, team-building exercises, comfortable and practical office space designs, etc. Office spaces are evolving post-pandemic, so keep reading to find out how they’ve been redesigned and the benefits of doing so.
1. Increased space explicitly designed for the collaboration of team members
As stated above, many businesses are redirecting their attention to creating more collaboration spaces instead of individual offices due to the fact that many were isolated from others during the pandemic, and with an increase in remote workers, collaboration spaces are a great way to socialize on their days in the office.
When at home, they can complete tasks they would initially complete in their office or cubicle, but now in the office, they can generate new ideas amongst one another and participate in meetings. Often businesses will also add lounge spaces to foster socialization and creativity without the pressures of achieving a work goal while in this space.
Collaborative spaces have helped employees achieve a better sense of community within their workplace environment, and studies have shown that team members who work in these spaces are 17% more satisfied with their job.
2. Sound masking and workplace background noise
With Zoom and video conferencing becoming so prevalent due to the pandemic, offices feature spaces that allow for a quiet area to participate in video conferencing with little to no distractions. These rooms are a great place to interact with those who are at home or aren't in the office, even though some employees may be.
It offers a quiet and convenient workspace to get things done, even if you aren't video chatting. Many offices have nailed down the acoustics for such rooms, and sound masking is a great tool to install to make all employees feel protected and comfortable.
Sound masking is when sound is installed in a way designed to mask other, more distracting noises. The noise is engineered to match the frequency of human speech to provide more privacy. Employees feel more protected with sound masking, which is a great improvement in itself. It helps drown out distractions to allow employees to complete higher quality work and protect speech privacy, making it a standard new installation in many post-pandemic office projects.
3. More comfortable environments
As people had to ditch the office and make do at home, individuals expressed how they enjoyed working from home and felt more comfortable in that environment. A study even found that remote workers were 22% happier than workers who work in the office. Due to this, businesses have adapted their office spaces to feel more home-like and comfortable to enable employees to get work done more effectively. This may include sofas in a lounge space, increased snacks around the office, more residential-style furniture, an increase in foliage, etc., all of which are aimed at making employees feel more at home and increasing productivity and creativity.
4. Increased focus on employee health and wellness
With the pandemic raising awareness of health and wellness within our lives, office spaces have begun to reflect that need for a healthier environment for their employees. Increased safety measures have been introduced, such as more hand sanitizer stations, designated spaces to eat during work hours, enhanced ventilation systems, and even reminders to keep spaces clean and tidy.
Offices have also begun designing spaces and workplace benefits that promote focusing on mental health and wellness. These may include more natural lighting, spaces where individuals can work in private, access to a gym or outdoor space for physical activity, and mental health workshops.
94% of employees who work in workplaces that have introduced mental health workshops have said they have been effective, and 45% report they have been very effective. Natural lighting can boost morale and energy levels, as 47% of employees working in offices with little natural lighting have reported feeling more tired. These up-and-coming modernized designs have shown major impacts on the overall health of employees.
Overall, office space designs have changed since 2020, which is a good thing. These new post-pandemic spaces promote comfort, creativity, and efficiency, all while putting a new focus on employees' health and wellness.
The pandemic has shown us new ways of working, whether it’s full-time in the office, hybrid, or at home, and it has done a great job of emphasizing the importance of an office space that is more than just desks and cubicles.
If you want to upgrade your office space, head to Workplace Integration's website now to achieve the workplace of your dreams!