How is the COVID-19 Pandemic Bringing Forth New Ways of Working?
It’s been several weeks since COVID-19 has prompted a collective shift in what working life looks like, and depending on your business model, you may have had the privilege of continuing operations while having employees work from home.
Prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic, many business owners had already been looking for ways to provide better work-life balance in the workplace in order to support employee well-being and mental health. While the transition to working from home during COVID-19 has not been without challenges, it has proven at the very least that even when business as usual resumes, not everyone needs to be at the office everyday, sparking conversation on how the workforce will change after COVID-19.
A survey by Gartner Research found that 74% of CEOs and business owners surveyed expect at least 5% of their employees to continue to work from home well after COVID-19 blows over. Many employees have also begun to question the need to brave long commutes to go to the office at all once social distancing mandates are no longer in place, indicating a potentially permanent shift in work culture, that will also impact how office design and workspaces look in the future.
Here are a few trends the designers at Dancon Construction anticipate as a result of COVID-19 and social distancing:
Efficient Design for Rotating Staff
As business owners take a financial hit from slowed operations due to social distancing now, following a rotating work from home schedule once things return to normal could allow for some relief. Fewer people and teams in the office at one time means a smaller office space can be leveraged, and less spatial needs also mean lowered overhead costs and energy consumption.
That said, these smaller spaces will still need to incorporate the needs of all your teams in a more compact way. You’ll need intuitive office design that accommodates the different job functions of your business, as vast and varying as they are, all with simplified ways for your various teams to change their workspace as needed every day. Mobile and convertible workstations will make it easy for staff to come together, or separate as needed, and an optimized layout for all essential work items will be imperative.
Virtual Meetings and Video Conferencing
You’ve likely had more video conferences than usual during COVID-19, giving you plenty of opportunities to notice how you look and sound via video chat. With remote collaboration becoming the norm, video conferencing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and is worth seamlessly incorporating into your office design.
Spaces will need to be built to reduce background noise and include sound equipment so that meetings run smoothly; proper lighting and environment so presentations and webinars look professional; and all those items, plus your camera, need to be easy to set up and put away as needed.
An additional and important consideration with video conferencing in smaller spaces is also having accommodations for more private conversations, like interviews and training sessions. Building sound-proofed sections into the office will make sure nobody outside of them hears anything they shouldn’t, and everyone in the conversation hears everything they should.
Purposely Designed and Build Workspaces with Dancon Construction
COVID-19 has changed the way people live and work all over the world - perhaps for good. For businesses that foresee a permanent shift to dynamic work scheduling and a rotating work-from-home model, Dancon Construction can help you begin optimizing your workplace before the new normal is in full swing. Our team of innovative office designers, managers and contractors have been creating spaces that work for over 10 years. Reach out to talk to our Workplace Consultants and learn how we can help you maintain a safe work environment.