Key trends for the agile working office

In our last blog we listed the three Hot Topics you should be planning for to make hybrid working work for you. Here we want to explore the key trends we have seen for the new agile working office. It’s a real must to make sure your returners feel safe and secure.

A flourishing business needs healthy people

By now most workspaces will be set up with protective screens, hand sanitising stations, signage and 2m-spaced seating. But is there any more you can do to help your people return with confidence?

With the easing of lockdown restrictions, employers are considering just this – how to accommodate the flexible, post-pandemic needs of their office workers and about how to entice people to return.

And what they’ve come to realise is that the wellbeing of their employees is mission critical for their business. What’s more, your office set-up can play a major part in helping to keep your people happy and healthy

Thanks to advances in technology and shifts in working culture, companies are now creating workspaces with flexibility built in. That means flexi-furniture that can adapt as your business morphs, allowing a multitude of different uses as you grow and expand.

Meeting the needs of the individual and the group

Going forwards, your office must suit the unique needs of your employees as they are asked to work more flexibly. That means your set-up should help people when they need to concentrate alone as much as collaborate with colleagues. And let’s not forget the need for communal zones where people can chat and chill.

Capacity sizes have also typically reduced, and workers are only spending part of their week in the office. So, with less need for rows and rows of desks, it’s vital to reconfigure your workspaces effectively so you can welcome as many people back in safely as possible.

Acoustic hubs – the next generation

Here at Upstream we’ve helped countless businesses to re-invent their offices. We suggest three popular solutions to get your office into shape.

Your employees need to be able to talk privately within the workplace. And, when so many offices are now open plan, the sound of people talking is often the loudest source of sound.

The latest acoustic hubs are an instant solution. Simple to install, space-saving and truly affordable, these acoustic hubs dramatically cut down excess noise and improve concentration and productivity. Better still, they lower stress levels and promote enhance wellbeing whilst making sure confidentiality is assured.

Reach out to our interiors team today and we would be happy to send across a brochure and tell you more about how you can incorporate them into your workspace.

Getting together with collaborative spaces

Collaboration in the ‘new normal’ has to be a little different. Wipeable furniture is a good example of a current trend that’s set to stay. So too is a focus on air quality. Indeed, the critical need for ‘smart’ air cleaners that use HEPA filters to cleanse the air in shared work spaces has never been more vital.

Another noticeable change has occurred with the mass introduction break out zones. These well-designed common areas have multiple uses, from a space for informal meetings or a corner to eat lunch, to a handy place to greet visitors or a chill-out area to relieve stress.

Investing in stylish break out zones is even seeing businesses retaining their best people and attracting new talent.

Hot desking has never been so…well, hot

If there’s one trend that’s been growing exponentially, it’s hot desking. According to Forbes, many organisations have been forced to shrink their workforce. So hot desking is a response both to fewer workers and to the phenomenon of hybrid working.

(But interestingly, according to academics at Harvard, hot desking will only work if it’s embraced from the very top of the organisation.)

For hot desking to be truly successful, it’s vital to introduce easily adaptable workspaces. Height adjustable desks are a great example, especially when you consider that 80% of adults will suffer from lower back pain at some point.

Sit/stand desks are also perfect for countering the adverse impact of prolonged sitting – heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity to name but a few – and for promoting healthy working. These Elev82 Mono sit-stand desks are the perfect solution – allowing the individual user to electronically adjust the desk height from a sitting to a standing position with the touch of a button.

Get your hybrid workplace right, and you’ll see a dramatic improvement in employee engagement and satisfaction – with a resultant boost in productivity. You’ll also be sure to attract the top talent as you grow. What’s more, this brave new office world will also help to improve your people’s mental health and morale, and play a key role in enhancing your corporate culture.

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