There is no question that the covid-19 pandemic has completely altered the way in which we live our lives. This includes affecting the way we work, where we do our jobs, and forcing employers to re-think their office layouts to adapt to the new way of working safely.
The pandemic has created a need for a fast transformation for offices in order to support working from home, social distancing, as well as providing a workspace that is cleaner and more efficient.
It is now time that we start to think about the end of lockdown (now 11th July) and how we can improve our working environment to suit the new normal that follows. In this article, we will be providing some practical tips for offices post covid-19, and how office furniture can be used to navigate this new normal that we are inevitably facing.
1. Redesign the workplace to support different types of working
In preparation for the post covid-19 world, office layouts will have to be entirely rethought and transformed. One way to do this is by creating workspaces specifically designed to support interactions that cannot happen remotely. For example, this can include providing areas for group work such as collaboration rooms, whilst having a separate private space for those who wish to work in a quiet and more private setting.
Through the use of different types of pods in an office environment, a space can be easily created for different types of working. Some examples we have at Haiken are:
- Focus Pod: A designed and comfortable seat that creates a calm and snug feeling. The aim of the Focus Pod is to provide a zone for better concentration in an open plan office.
- Scott Meeting Pod: This acoustic pod is great for private meetings between 2-4 people as it is made from carefully selected materials to offer optimum sound absorption. By adding the Scott Meeting Pod to an open plan office, collaboration between colleagues will be made much easier.
- Scott Phone Booth: An acoustic phone booth that creates a quiet working environment in open-plan offices for Zoom sales pitches, private calls, or just simply a space to focus. The Scott Phone Booth provides full ventilation and sensor-controlled lighting whilst being easily demountable and transportable.
- SoundRoom: Designed for open-plan layouts, the SoundRoom provides a high acoustic quality arrangement for individual and teamwork, comfortable meetings, and concentration zones.
- Focus Floor: One of the advantages of working from home is that there is much more privacy. But privacy can also be created in the office too, even in open-plan layouts. The Focus Floor is an easily placed and movable screen that can be used to add some privacy to a space, allowing employees to focus on their work.
It has been said that 81% of employees feel that they would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options. So, it would be worth asking employees which style of working they would prefer once lockdown ends - whether it be remote or to return to the office. It is also worth noting that by implementing Pods into your office environment, you would also be helping to create that flexible working environment that employees yearn post-covid.
2. Consider smart locker solutions
As the world continues to adjust to the new reality brought on by Covid-19, smart locker technologies that provide touch-free services have been a growing solution for universities, food service industries, retailers, and corporations to protect their consumers, clients and employees.
This is because smart lockers can be used to further eliminate the need for person-to-person contact, helping to enable social distancing and promote safety. The lockers can be spread across several floors of the office and with pre-figured 6-feet distances, the smart locker system can automatically direct users to specific lockers whilst ensuring they do not get too close to each other.
Another big advantage of a smart locker system is that employees can operate their locker remotely via their phone and it also means that they can feel assured their personal belongings are safe while they work.
3. Choose homely, comfortable furniture.
During the pandemic, the majority were forced to adapt to a new working style – working from home. While there are some people who prefer going into the office to work, there are many who have happily adapted to the home style of working.
To ensure that everyone is happy, it is worth companies being more flexible with employees by letting them decide how they wish to work going forward. To entice more staff into the office, it could be an idea to add more homely elements to the workplace. For example, placing some soft seating in an area of the office where people can take a break to unwind. Our Lua furniture by Noti is perfect to create a home-like look with its elegant form and accessories such as a lamp with a lampshade and a table with a wooden top, added to the construction of the furniture. Furniture we recommend adding a homely and comfortable feel to a working environment include:
- Sona: Ideal for creating quiet islands in large open-plan office spaces. The modules can be fitted and arranged in a variety of ways. The Sona also has an additional functionality of media ports for connecting and charging mobile devices integrated into tabletops. It can provide the perfect zone for talking and holding meetings, or just as an island of rest in large and crowded spaces.
- Gap: Perfect for public buildings and offices, this collection is inspired by the design of the 1960s, characterised by visual lightness and superior ergonomics. These armchairs are exceptionally comfortable and blend well with a variety of interiors, creating a home away from home feel.
- Dezk: The Dezk can provide a flexible, and welcoming entrance to those returning to the office. It has a sound absorbing front panel and can be customised to your specifications.
- Mishell Soft: A special version of the Mishell collection, designed to provide even more user comfort. The Mishell Soft delivers a more cozy character making it a great choice to bring that homely element back to the office.
To see more of our office furniture solutions, feel free to contact us today and we will be happy to show you more.