Encouraged by employers and the escalating costs of home-based energy, the trend of returning to the office is on the rise. A study by Envoy across 14,000 worldwide locations reveals a 64% surge in office visits since the beginning of 2022. Concurrently, in the UK, there's a decrease in exclusive home working (remote working) and a rise in hybrid working, which combines work from home and office-based work. Current ONS data indicates that exclusive home working has fallen 10% from February to May this year, while hybrid working has seen an 11% increase during the same timeframe.
The Rush for Office Space
In response to the recent influx of employees returning to work in-person, businesses are scrambling to secure office space. A recent report by CBRE revealed that office occupancy in Central London hit 12.7 million square feet in the year ending June 2022. This represents a 153% increase compared to the same timeframe last year, and is also 5% higher than the decade-long average. Notably, for larger office spaces (those exceeding 20,000 sq ft.), tenants are acquiring more space than they previously occupied. As the head of research at CBRE explains:
Even with the rise of hybrid work models, the need for office space continues to be strong. The common belief is that hybrid work will greatly affect the demand for offices. However, this data evidently contradicts that assumption.
Benefits of Working in an Office
What implications does this have for the construction and design of office spaces in the future? Does it merely imply a comeback to the traditional office, or does it necessitate further contemplation on how to design and construct workplaces to suit hybrid and flexible work environments? In this piece, we delve deeper into the tangible workplace and its advantages. Let's begin by discussing the top six benefits of working in an office.
1. Feeling of Purpose
Executives have justifiably been worried about the effects of recent years on corporate culture, unity, interaction, and brand image. While people are the heart of an office, the tangible presence of the office itself reinforces it. Without a physical workspace, a shared sense of mission is weakened. A Mckinsey research indicates that 82% of workers believe it's crucial for their organization to have a sense of purpose, and over two-thirds of workers feel that their personal sense of purpose is, to some extent, shaped by their job.
In order to fulfill the desire for inclusion, workers should consider the physical workspace as a valuable resource with a competitive edge. The focus should be on creating and constructing offices that are more than just areas filled with desks, but instead environments including meeting rooms and breakout areas etc. that encourage human interaction, genuine experiences, and a chance to form relationships with colleagues. Examples include;
The establishment of collaborative spaces that stimulate interaction and shared working possibilities
The incorporation of couches and relaxation zones for social gatherings
The application of tables and benches in collaborative work areas for team-based tasks
The incorporation of greenery (biophilia) that transforms an office into an appealing workspace
The establishment of "tertiary zones" in the workplace, such as tea corners and lounges
2. Feeling of Inclusion
Inclusion is when someone or things is included as part of a group or a person that is included.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, belonging is:
Throughout the pandemic, a sense of belonging was diminished. Waves of layoffs decreased morale, and newcomers who hadn't yet encountered their coworkers face-to-face were forced to do so virtually via Zoom, Slack, and Teams. Social interactions were confined to online conversations and conference calls, the so-called 'digital watercooler'.
The workplace, on the other hand, provides a more dynamic and organic platform for dialogue - those "serendipitous encounters" that pave the way for new possibilities of inclusion and camaraderie. This feeling of inclusion can be amplified through thoughtful office layout. A recent quote we provided for a gaming industry fit-out serves as a perfect illustration of this concept in action. The firm aimed to metamorphose their office area into an entirely unique kind of workspace, one that was equally focused on fun and leisure as it was on professional tasks.
3. Companionship and individual bond
When new employees become part of your organization and spend time in the office, they naturally establish interpersonal relationships which effect company culture. However, having close friends at work significantly boosts job satisfaction. A Gallup study reveals that employees with a best friend at work tend to be happier in their jobs, more willing to go the extra mile for customers, and more likely to produce high-quality work. Their findings indicate that employees with work friendships are over twice as likely to be engaged (63% vs. 29%) compared to those without.
While friendships and personal connections can’t be manufactured, the type of office design and fit-out can encourage them. Having early conversations with a design and build firm can be very beneficial in establishing a workplace that supports a variety of work arrangements, as well as possibilities for teamwork, camaraderie, and friendship. It’s more involved than just grouping workstations together to allow brainstorming sessions. The effectiveness of a team’s collaborative efforts is greatly impacted by the overall quality of a physical office’s design and layout.
4. Creativity and innovation
Operating in an office environment promotes creativity and innovation. More and more, businesses are realising that the physical area where staff perform their tasks is vital in nurturing creativity and innovation at work.
Innovation is the effective utilisation of fresh concepts and the lucrative result of the inventive process. Crucially, innovation is not an isolated endeavor; instead, it necessitates the collaboration of numerous distinct departments and sectors within an organization, along with those of other associated enterprises.
The design and layout of a workplace can greatly influence creativity and innovation. A fundamental choice such as the seating arrangement of various teams can deeply affect the capacity to exchange thoughts, or the departments that share concepts.
Altering the layout of desks, for example, can influence the extent to which employees share their thoughts and expertise. Likewise, breakout zones and shared workspaces could potentially stimulate innovative thought. Collaborating with a proficient project manager and office design team can aid in crafting spaces that foster creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.
5. Knowledge Sharing
Direct interactions offer a distinctive platform for knowledge exchange that cannot be replicated digitally. This is succinctly articulated in a quote from a career coach's interview featured in the New York Times.
“If a lot of decisions are made through side conversations, through walking up to someone’s office, through hallway conversations, recognise that despite how good you may be at emailing or Slack communications, you will be left out of conversations that happen organically in-office”
Understanding is established on connections - the elements that individuals can observe, listen to, and encounter in their surrounding environment. Research in the field of sociology indicates that observing the behaviors of others is vital for gaining new insights.
6. Opportunities for Teamwork and Collaboration
A well-structured office layout offers staff the chance to cooperate and work collectively, in both official and casual settings. This encompasses specific cooperative areas like conference rooms and relaxation zones, along with more casual spaces like shared desks or common areas. By fostering an environment for team effort and cooperation, businesses gain from creativity, innovation, and a feeling of unity in the office. Additional advantages include improved problem-solving, enhanced job contentment, and ultimately, heightened business success.
If you are looking to reimagine your office space contact our team here are Spaces Taylored. We offer Office Design, Office Fit Out, Office Refurbishments and Office Furniture. If you have any questions or would like to start a project contact us today.
Call us on 0843 122 9545 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can transform your current working environment into an inspirational place that you’ll love to spend time in. Be proud of your office space with the help of Spaces Taylored.
Web - www.spacestaylored.com
Email - email@example.com
Call - 0843 122 9545