After an extended period spent working from home, employees are considering getting back to offices. The question of how our workplaces will adapt to new working environments and what this would look is rising.
Key takeaways from international advisory, engineering and design company Aurecon’s ‘Workplace of the future: smart, sustainable and safe’ report consist of:
- Almost 80% of staff indicated they would like to continue working from home at least some of the time.
- However, 67% missed working in office spaces. The social interaction and brainstorming sessions show a real need for workplaces to continue to some extent.
- In addition, Gen Z (aged 25 and less) felt they were being more productive working at the office.
Almost 80% of staff indicated they would like to continue working from home at least some of the time
The report emphasizes the rise of work/home hubs and a possibility to adapt to a hybrid office/home environment. Smart health-tech systems are important such as the use of voice activated, contactless or facial recognition, socially-distanced escalators and temperature-monitored entry and exits in place of lifts.
Imperatives that have emerged for the new workplace
● Protect the health and safety of workers – people need to feel safe and trust that the building won’t damage their health.
● Incorporate both quiet spaces for individual work, to accommodate for those working from home.
● Flexible, to quickly adjust to a pandemic or other unforeseen circumstance that might arise in the future.
● Attractive to the current workforce, as well as the emerging and new workforce.
● Allow people working remotely to connect seamlessly to those in the office.
● Spaces for networking, meeting and collaborating.
3 major criteria for the workplace
The workplace needs to be designed to meet their expectations and human values of:
Sustainability – to tackle the impacts of climate change
Flexibility – to respond for their the evolution of our societies, changing values and unknown, future disruptions as we have experienced with COVID-19
Smart tech – is essential for generations that have grown up with social media, the internet, digital technology, and the sharing economy. It is necessary to have data at their fingertips to make decisions and take control. In terms of health and safety, contactless technology will be important.
Smart, sustainable, human- centered, safe, hybrid hubs – high tech-enabled, low carbon, collaborative meeting places with fewer people interacting on a daily basis, could be a solution.
While we are currently in a ‘survival mode’, our main focus is on returning to a ‘new normal’. This should be done in the most seamless way possible, ensuring the safety and health of our workers. Yet, decisions will need to be made soon about the future of our workplaces.
Smart, sustainable, human- centred, safe, hybrid hubs – high tech-enabled, low carbon, collaborative meeting places with fewer people interacting on a daily basis, could be a solution.