While some companies are still working from home, many are welcoming their employees back into the office space. To do so smoothly and effectively, there are some new trends to consider this year. Obviously, there are social-distancing trends associated with COVID-19, but there are other driving forces, such as younger generations entering the workforce and the rising use of technology. Trend forecasters project that “resimercial” design, videoconferencing, and workstation neighborhoods will play a key role in the office efficiency of 2021.
According to an article published by All Work (allwork.space) titled 5 Office Design Trends for 2021, resimercial design mixes residential and commercial features to make employees feel at home in the workspace: “The trend emerged when Millennials and Gen Z—the people who grew up with technology and are familiar with the notion of working any time, any place—started to form the majority of the workforce. In 2021, expect to see decorative touches associated with the home environment and comfortable furnishings, particularly in breakout spaces.” A positive of taking office design in this direction is how it promotes wellness and mental health. When employees feel comfortable and safer at work, they are going to be more loyal to the company and produce better results.
In addition, technology in the workplace is a reality that cannot be overlooked or pushed to the side. Businesses have to be technologically equipped. This is especially true as remote work becomes more common. According to research by PwC, over half of executives expect to offer remote working in the near future and the majority of employees want to work from home at least part-time. This means that videoconferencing and associated equipment will play a critical role in maintaining connection and facilitating collaboration among teams.
Another major trend in 2021 and beyond for office efficiency is giving a new spin to the typical open-plan workstations. Office architects have introduced functional, movable furniture that can be reconfigured with ease when privacy is needed for videoconferencing. Desks can also be grouped together in “workspace neighborhoods” when teams need to collaborate. A local office furniture supplier that has already introduced these types of furniture pieces and layout designs to Lincoln is AOI Corporation (aoicorp.com).
“One of the best efficiencies is the ability to be adaptable and flexible,” said Penny Johnston, general manager at AOI Corporation. “The easier it is to quickly change the use of a space with little effort and interruption, the better. As businesses are returning employees to the office, they are allowing many to have the option to work from home in some capacity—a distributed work model. With that, they need to start looking at their space in terms of how it fosters desired outcomes for collaboration, productivity, culture, and the work experience. What can be done to attract employees back to the office where the best collaboration happens? What furniture and technology are needed to allow for this collaboration? The answers to these questions may change as employees return. Having furniture that is adaptable and flexible is key. As a Herman Miller Certified Dealer, we have access to a wealth of resources to help clients determine the best use for their space. As your furniture provider, we are in it with you long-term. We help ensure that your workplace evolves over time and stays effective, so you won’t have to face a major capital event every 7–10 years.”
If you’re wanting to improve the efficiency of your office to make your team feel more comfortable and improve overall production, reach out to the experts at AOI! They’ve helped many clients stay focused on their business by building and furnishing an environment where their employees and clients will thrive.