Attracting people back to the office

As if this year could get more challenging we are now more than halfway through our second lock down of 2020. At the time of writing (November 2020) the Government has planned to ease lock down restrictions on December 2nd 2020 and people will be allowed to go back to work; but what does that mean for companies reopening and how are people going to feel about a return to a communal space.

As much of our work takes place in controlled environments we have been able to continue working and at times like these, this has been extremely important. Office spaces are changing for the new normal and we have been on the frontline when it comes to getting those changes done.

For some people working from home was a novelty which has turned into an annoyance; but for others, it has been an enjoyable experience during which they have maintained their productivity and reduced their travel costs.

So what do employers have to do to make their teams want to return to the office on a more full-time basis? We have been helping employers revamp their work spaces; so, if you would like to speak to a member of our expert team about your requirements, make sure you get in touch on 01344 303504 or email us.

Flexibility

One of the key things that the pandemic has taught us is that there is a very real need for employers to be flexible when it comes to peoples’ presence in the office. Most people have been able to work from home in some capacity during the lock downs this year. This has led to a change in mind-set from many employers, switching to a more remote working strategy.

The new way of working is likely to benefit both employer and employee. Research suggests that 58% of people have reported that they feel more productive when working from home (The Independent – Sept. 2020). It has also reported that people, who work from home, often work longer hours as they fill their downtime with productive work-related activities.

Informal Hub Environments

As a result of this enforced switch to a remote way of working, we are seeing more and more companies move towards a more ‘hub’ style of workspace. Rather than filling their offices with rows of desks there is a much more fluid and social environment.

While working from home has been a great success for some people, it also has its limitations – one of the most pertinent is that working collaboratively will always be easier in person. While video conferencing and messengers are great tools for distance working, the creation of communal areas and break out rooms in which people can work together in the flesh will still be king.

Most traditional work spaces only need minor amendments in order to provide working environments of this ilk, so it makes sense to get a professional office fit out company to help you design the perfect layout for your business.

Amenities

While you might not have much control over what amenities are surrounding your office space, you do have control over the location in which said office space resides. If you are thinking of relocating your office within the same area, choosing a location with plenty of local amenities can improve your lure as an employer.

Many businesses partner up with other local businesses in order to add benefits to their staffs’ package. For example if you happen to be near a local gym you might be able to get a special corporate rate for your employees.

In-house amenities are also a great way to lure people back to the office. Depending on the size of your business and budget there are myriad benefits you can offer. We have spoken about how to make your office a great place to work. Sometimes it’s the simple things like green additions to the décor, natural light and a decent coffee machine; or you might be able to accommodate something slightly more luxurious like outdoor communal spaces or hit-tech break out rooms.

Safety

At this time of uncertainty, one of the most pressing factors in people returning to the office is the issue of safety. With the COVID-19 pandemic still at large (at time of writing – Nov ’20), people are most concerned about their safety and what measures are in place to control the spread of the virus.

Ensuring that the office is cleaned thoroughly every day and putting into place some protocols to keep the work space hygienic will help to put your teams’ minds at rest. Where possible making sure that people are maintaining a reasonable distance from each other will also help; this can be achieved by using signage as a reminder.

It is also recommended that your teams are briefed in the best practices when it comes to cleaning their own work stations and that everyone in the office takes responsibility for their own area.

There is going to be a transitional period as people become more accustomed to the ‘new normal’ but finding a balance between working from home and heading into the office will be the biggest challenge over the next few years. As the old fashioned outlook of ‘bums on seats’ in the office makes way for a more convenient and modern approach to work.

Get in Touch

If you are looking at modifying your office for the winter months or are thinking of updating your space in anticipation of normality returning to the world, make sure you speak to a member of our team about your workplace requirements on 01344 303504 or email us.

We are experts in commercial office fit-out so, whether you are looking for a major overhaul or simple alterations to your existing workspace, get in touch. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Feature image: shutterstock/IR Stone

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