Office trends aren’t just about coffee machines and ping pong tables. Actually, the workforce is largely waking up to those superficial (and often empty) tools to appeal to the talent pool. Our office space should reflect the needs of the business and the people that power it.
Obviously, the pandemic forced businesses to change, innovate and evolve. Fortunately, we now get to see so many businesses thrive off the back of the last two years. The businesses that have succeeded are so often those that put their people at the forefront of their operation and listen to what they need. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of new trends and changes in the way office space is used and regarded. Let’s take a look.
Emphasis on social space
Mckinsey research shows that 80% of us enjoy working from home, and the majority of those people believe they are more productive when they work from home. This shows that the role of the home office is of concentration, checking off to-do lists, deep diving into tasks that demand our full attention. But our job roles are more than just tick lists.
In turn, the shared office takes on the role of a space to communicate, share and collaborate. Humans go to work for more than just one purpose – we also fulfill so many of our other social needs in the workplace and office styles are starting to truly reflect that.
Offices are changing to feature way more comfortable and shared seating areas, as well as larger shared desks rather than cubicles and boxed-off spaces. At Arena, we encourage our clients to create breakout spaces and comfortable seating areas that support employees’ needs and help them achieve the right balance.
Wellbeing in the workplace
Throughout the pandemic, the idea of ‘clean air’ and being outdoors was something we heard about pretty consistently. During that time, so many of us did spend much more time outdoors, which is something we would have been unlikely been unable to do if COVID-19 had not have happened.
Simultaneously, as a society, we are becoming so much more cognisant of our mental health and the ongoing effort that’s required to keep a happy, healthy and productive mind.
These realisations have impacted the office space. More and more businesses are working to incorporate the outside by including growing walls or taking advantage of balconies and outdoor seating areas. The seats themselves are changing – exercise chairs and standing desks are working their way into the office because they are proven to promote health and productivity! It’s believed that strategically using a standing desk can improve engagement by more than 12%.
Where this isn’t quite possible, we now see a growing popularity for outdoor team lunches and organised yoga or exercise classes in the fresh air. These really are small, no-cost changes that are making all the difference to employees.
As well as collaborating and talking socially with colleagues, offices spaces are evolving to prioritse external meetings. As we’ve already talked about, more seating areas are being installed in our customisable office space to ensure businesses can etnertian their guests and their own clients.
It’s becoming clear that although Zoom and Microsoft Teams are great for quick catch ups, we tend to prefer face-to-face meetings to hash out the really important stuff. It’s critical for relationship building and getting that buy-in from your clients. It also allows businesses and their talent to feel professional. Imposter syndrome was certainly creeping in when we’re all having meetings in our slippers and on our sofas.
The need to meet in person
Arena offer state of the art, conference quality meeting rooms, kitted out with everything you’ll need to host your most important clients.
What do these changes mean?
All the changes revolve around fostering a healthy, enjoyable and communal working environment. These are the features of an office space that really matters to prospective employees, visitors and clients – not flashy games and ping pong tables – because these really reflect culture and a company that cares.