5 Steps to a better office

"This is likely to transform current approaches to offices environments." That was the vardict from one of our UK-based respondents - and we couldn't agree more. Here are five tips to create a better office for the future.

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1. Embrace adaptable design “In an office, you need to find a suitable free space for a task that requires concentration,” said one of our Finnish respondents. Many organisations had already identified this need before Covid-19. Addressing it as larger numbers of workers return to the office will be critical. Inbuilt ‘cellularisation’, where environments can be reconfigured and workers can retreat into defined areas for meetings or quiet work, will be central to success. A one-size-fits-all approach will no longer work when office use is likely to be so fluid.

2. Install lightweight furniture Key to the successful implementation of adaptable design is the use of lightweight furniture. If desks, tables and chairs are to be reconfigured, they must also be light enough for workers to be able to quickly and easily move them – without risk of injury or harm. Fitting lightweight furniture mirrors technological advances, where physical connections have been replaced with wireless services and portable devices are increasingly ‘the norm’.

3. Develop cleaning regimes Take time to devise and implement a cleaning regime that gives your employees the confidence to return to the office whenever they need. Formica laminates are regularly used in hospitals and clinics because they are proven to help to reduce the growth of bacteria. They are completely sealed and impervious, with only warm, soapy water needed to maintain ongoing cleanliness. This will help to reassure both staff and visitors that your office is equipped for post-pandemic life.

4. Choose appropriate colours Colours help to incorporate corporate identity into an office’s design, something judged as quite or very important by 62% of our respondents across Europe. But more than that, they create a workplace in which employees can thrive. Choose colours that reflect the lifestyles of your employees. The aim is to inspire creativity, enhance wellbeing and design an environment in which productivity surges.

5. Guarantee social distancing Ease anxious employees’ nerves by taking time to carefully plan the layout of your redesigned office space. With fewer employees expected to be in the office on any given day, there is an opportunity to space workers further apart and alleviate concerns about the potential spread of viruses.

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