The future of the office space in a remote work world

In this strange pandemic era, we all have very different experiences of the workplace, and it’s been fascinating to watch this develop over the past year. As the rise of remote work accelerated, the immediate hypothesis was that working from home would be the new normal. According to McKinsey 2020 research, 80 percent of people questioned reported that they enjoyed working from home more than going to the office.  

In 2021 we are not so sure anymore. Recent research suggests that there is a negative emotional impact of remote working compared to office-based work. People are feeling lonely and having trouble disconnecting at the end of the day. It seems that even though we can be productive from home, the physical office will not become irrelevant. However, when people come back to the office they will be forever changed by their pandemic experience. This means that what they want will also be different. 

So, what will the new normal really look like?

Workspaces are becoming multi-purpose and multi-modal

The workplace must be a hybrid experience that leverage the best of both remote and office work.The future office is a place that incorporates the best aspects of the office, your home, coffee shops, co-working, and hotel lobbies. 

The future office is a smarter shared workspace

The focus should be on creating a space for the shared activities that work best in person. This means more collaborative workspaces, with fully loaded videoconferencing options to link up in-person and work-from-home staffs. 

The future office uses tech to make things easy and ensure health and safety

In the new normal, office workers will want to avoid crowded spaces and long lines. You might see more usage of mobile apps, where employees can check what’s for lunch or book a conference space. 

The office of the future will succeed or fail based on whether it provides what the future office workers demand. Forget bad coffee and fluorescent lighting. To compete, offices must be a space that holds a thriving community and that is the perfect spot for collaboration, meeting new people and learning new things.

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