Rethinking Offices; Reducing Costs & Increasing Safety Following COVID-19.

Rethinking Offices; Reducing Costs & Increasing Safety Following COVID-19.

In a world devastated by COVID-19 have companies finally learned to utilize technology instead of just buying up floor space? The key is to reduce your office space & costs, ensure a healthy environment, and to increase productivity.

In a world devastated by COVID-19 have companies finally learned to utilize technology instead of just buying up floor space?

Over the last 40 years, the design of our offices and how they function hasn’t really changed all that much. Since the 1980’s the Open Plan Office was deemed as the modern solution to a simple problem, lowering real estate costs by maximizing the square footage per employee. We as designers started breaking down walls, and cramming people in, as a way to help employers meet their quotas.

This office typology has stuck ever since, despite the evidence and complaints that the set-up actually decreases productivity, and surprisingly also decreases the interaction between staff.

And still to this day is the preferred typology for the most successful and forward-thinking companies around.

With the introduction of COVID-19 the modern office as we know it is hit with some serious challenges. Designers, Public Health Officials, as well as titans of industry all agree that aspects of this long-standing typology will have to change, and fast.

This, which is also accompanied by an economic disaster of sorts, has meant that these changes are not met with big budgets but strategic thinking. The largest office leasing companies are in a holding pattern, waiting to see what happens. Companies' priorities are simple for now, focused on keeping employees healthy and safe, and preparing a space for peace and mind when they return. But what happens next?

“Companies are basically planning for COVID to be a part of our lives and the way we work for at least the next 18, to 24, to 36 months — until there is a vaccine or treatment,” Brian Chen, co-founder and CEO of ROOM.

So the real question our company faces is; How can we help companies recover? - By helping you reduce costs, increasing productivity, and look after your staff. 

The office is essential. The HQ, the base of operations, it will be around for a long time into the future. But what COVID has forced the world to realize is that all that research about the productivity of working from home is true. So why not now reduce office space, design a healthier environment, and increase your returns along the way?

Working for Home Increases Productivity by 47%!

According to survey data working from home is increasing productivity greatly;

  • The average worker starts work at 8:32 a.m. and ends work at 5:38 p.m
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the most productive days, in that order
  • Telephone calls are up 230%
  • CRM activity is up 176%
  • Email is up 57% and chat is up 9%

 “The common assumption is that remote workers are less productive than those who are in a traditional office. But our ability to capture, integrate, and analyze workplace data shows otherwise,” Crisantos Hajibrahim, chief product officer at Prodoscore

What we are learning is that the office, or the extensive office, is not really needed. Smaller more efficient offices are the future. Giving staff a flexible space to collaborate and present, while allowing them to work from home seems to be the solution. This optimizing of the office space doesn't need to be radical either. Large tables instead of individual desks are good at generating intimate and meaningful conversations and meets. Professional and functional meeting rooms for physical client interactions, all the basics. Just now technology has given us a way to make them smaller, and healthier. 

Check out the video below. It shows how efficient working from home can be, and the bonus is companies now no longer need the expense or hassle of that large office. 

Download our guide on how to re-configure your office to increase efficiency, improve operations, re-design the layout, improve hygiene, and staff satisfaction. Download here.

Discover our Future Proof Office design and consulting service here.

Author: Vincent McIlduff

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