Are you ready for your team to perform in a #beyondCOVID world?
Love it or hate it, flexible working has become the new norm. Companies that had already embraced agile workplace solutions have been able to adapt quickly to the current COVID-19 challenge. Others have caught up with varying levels of success. But what of the future #beyondCOVID?
The workplace design team at Evoke Projects love a thought-provoking quote. And who better to quote in a time of need than Winston Churchill?
“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
So what good can come out of this crisis? Take a look at your current office fit-out. How much office space do you need today? How much space will you need next week or next month? You won’t be sure right now. Even with increased social distancing space requirements becoming the new norm, with potentially 40-60% of your workforce working remotely at any given time for the long term, you could still achieve a good reduction in building, facilities and real estate expenses.
Coupled with agile working methodologies and a new office interior design, the average organisation could potentially save up to 50% on real estate costs. Thought leaders in forward-thinking companies are exploring the workplace design options now.
Sustainable workplace and office interior design for the long term
Design strategies will need to be embraced to ensure a sustainable workplace from a cost and business perspective. You will want to manage the current situation, get your business ready for #beyondCOVID and be confident that any reduction in real estate is sustainable for the long term. This is where your workplace interior design becomes crucially important. An agile office fit-out, strategically designed to suit your organisation’s specific needs, will work now and in the future.
New workplace solutions
Many large companies have changed their working practices to alternate team weeks at home and the office during the current crisis. Some form of alternate working has the capacity for long term cost savings, while still providing people with a place at work they can call ‘home’. It will be a matter of deciding which pattern of agile working works best for your team.
It’s important not to go too far with remote working. People need human connection, identity and a sense of community belonging, both at home and at work for mental health and well-being, engagement and productivity.
Evoke Projects has been creating space-saving and flexible workplace interior designs and office fit-outs for many years, and we are well placed to advise you on preparing for life #beyondCOVID.
Office relocation to a flexible coworking space
If you want to make a more radical change, coworking spaces are another option. You can rent space with a short-term lease and shared services. As well as the obvious savings on lease costs, facilities and service staff, there are no office fit-out or refurbishment costs.
Benefits of agile working for productivity and flexibility
Giving people the flexibility to manage their own time can make teams more productive. When people have the autonomy to choose how, when and where they work, they become more motivated to deliver results, reducing the focus on ‘being seen’ to work long hours.
With fewer commuting hours, employees have time to improve their work-life balance, taking regular exercise and enjoying more leisure activities. This improvement in physical and mental health and well-being feeds through to higher motivation and productivity at work.
Technology for productive workplace solutions
Technology for remote working has advanced exponentially over the last few years and most of us are only just realising how good it is.
The Cloud is already well-established as a scalable resource, and screen sharing and online collaboration have become second nature to many. It is easier to gather people for a video meeting than a face-to-face meeting, and video meetings tend to be shorter and on point. Video conferencing provider, Zoom, has seen its user numbers grow from 10 million to 200 million during the COVID crisis.
Of course, there are challenges. NBN Co has reported a 49% increase in peak throughput during business hours since the pre-baseline COVID week. Evening usage has also increased substantially. Fraud and hacking risks are growing as people use less secure home networks. But it is heartening to see telecoms and IT companies rising to this challenge, and improvements will continue to flow through.
Agile working is here to stay
With the workforce now educated in working from home, we will never go back to the old way of working. With restrictions being relaxed, those who walk or drive to work may well sprint to the office with previously unseen enthusiasm. Social isolation will do that to people! However, once we are all allowed back in the office, people will hanker after the shorter no-commute days and the flexibility that comes with good time management.
Public transport commuters will worry most about effective social distancing, so that group of people will be particularly keen to retain a form of remote working.
Workplace design important for employee experience
‘Employee experience’ has been much talked about over the last few years. The way we attract and retain talent has broadened far beyond salary and career progression. Employee experience will be even more important #beyondCOVID as the best talent gravitates to employers with sustainable workplaces that not only allow them to be safe, but also feel safe.
If the virus is still in our midst, staff may be concerned about the quality of air-conditioning systems, busy elevators, and communal facilities such as printers, fridges, and microwaves. Plans for the workplace design will be much broader than just interior design. Employers will need to have hand sanitisers readily available along with social distancing guidelines and signage, to ensure people feel safe until a vaccine becomes available. Mental health and well-being support in the workplace will also be invaluable as employees adapt to life #beyondCOVID.
The concept of ‘hot-desking’ will certainly take a hit in the popularity stakes for a while—until thorough cleaning regimes are implemented. There are many other flexible working options on the table, and Evoke Projects is at the forefront of implementing these solutions through tailored workplace designs and office fit-outs. This crisis will pass, and smart businesses will emerge more productive than ever before by planning now for the future #beyondCOVID.
Talk to the workplace interior design team at Evoke Projects today, passionate experts who can help you maximise your space efficiency to reduce your real estate costs and give your team the tools to #thrivein2020, both in the office and remotely. Please call 1300 720 692 for more information.
Click here to download our ‘Working Effectively from Home Guide’