Another topical question for this week’s blog: is this the end of offices as we know it? Well, it’s safe to say that the traditional office workspace has been turned on its head over the past fourteen months.
Rows of desks. Communal tables in the canteen. Departments sitting together in one space. The Adecco Group suggests that pre-pandemic, the office was built and designed with one idea in mind: the amount of time that people spent in the office had a direct correlation with productivity and performance. Your physical presence in the office was a metric of success for many managers worldwide.
Then 2020 happened. The world transitioned to working from home. And managers realized that performance and time spent in the office were not mutually exclusive. As pre-pandemic normality slowly trickles back into some aspects of our lives, the workforce is struggling to give up the increased control that they have gained over their work schedule in the past year.
Findings from an Adecco employee engagement study showed that 75% of employees favor more flexibility at work, and the majority of people support a 50/50 split between remote and office work. According to the study, this way of thinking is more or less consistent across all age groups and locations. This indicates that a hybrid working model emerges as the preferred solution.
So, is that it? Farewell to the 9-5 life, grey cubicles and clocking in and out? Not quite but we can probably expect an architectural transformation to match the flexible working model. For example, replacing rows of desks with collaborative breakout spaces may reduce the culture of permanent ownership over a space, and instead create an environment that can be adapted to those who need to use it. Architects also predict that topical interests such as climate change, sustainability, and collective responsibility for the common good will be factored into the design structure of offices moving forward.
Interesting, right? I mean, if grey cubicles were never seen again that wouldn’t be the worst thing, would it? Let us know what you think!