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Office challenges

There are many questions about how we are going to work in the future. What will the new office look like? And maybe we are going to switch to remote work altogether? There are many options and the answer depends on a specific organisation – on its needs and its openness.

If you decide your company should go for hybrid work, you might have some questions about how to proceed. Turn the page and see what our experts say about the future of office work.

How to make sure your employees remain safe and avoid unnecessary contact with third-party visitors?

Divide your office space into an open part designed for visitors and another part with limited access and designed only for the employees. The entrance zone can be an independent office with meeting rooms and a kitchen. This is how you ensure that visitors don’t access the operational part of your office.

Are you going to need traditional managerial offices if you decide to switch into hybrid work?

A lot depends on the organisational culture of your company. If the managers work remotely, they may no longer need traditional office rooms. They are going to complete their administrative tasks partly remotely, and when they do come to the office, they will probably spend most of the day in meeting rooms and with their teams. But if you need separate rooms for managers, you may consider introducing shared office rooms or the option to book such rooms by the hour.

While my employees switch into hybrid work, are they still going to need a desk in the office?

If you go for the hybrid model, you assume that your employees will perform administrative work from home. They will come to the office to meet with other team members and do joint project work. In this scenario, maintaining individually assigned workstations is ineffective. Support your team in creating an ergonomic workstation at home, and make sure there is plenty of space for meetings and creative work in the office. Also, provide desk sharing spaces, where your employees could sit down and reply to e-mails after a meeting.

Are all employees going to follow the desk sharing scheme?

Desk sharing is most often recommended for mobile employees, who spend a lot of their working hours away from the desk – they might go on business trips, engage in meetings or work on a project with other members of the team in the agile zone. But due to the nature of their tasks and individual working style, some employees might need an individually assigned desk. Also, there are employees who cannot or don’t want to work from home for a number of reasons. It’s good to design workstations in the office for such people.

How to introduce the idea of desk sharing in your organisation?

Employees often have some doubts about desk sharing. Not having a desk of your own may result in a sense of loss and missing out. Instead, you can offer a number of different spaces designed for meetings and creative work. A well-planned internal communication is incredibly important in this respect. It is also a good idea to support your employees in organising an ergonomic workstation at home. This is where they are going to complete most administrative tasks, which they used to do in the office before.

How to arrange the kitchen and a break room?

The kitchen is the heart of your office. Apart from its most obvious function – as a place where your employees can have meals – it is also a place of informal meetings over a cup of coffee. It’s good to allocate some more space for a kitchen, so that it can become a large coffee zone to accommodate informal meetings. This is something most of us miss while we work from home.

What is Agile Space?

An Agile Space is a multifunctional space for a project team: flexible furniture solutions mean you can easily adjust this space to the current needs of its users. Do you want to organise a stand-up meeting or a brainstorming session? Would you like to discuss an ad hoc issue or take a while to work on your own? We have come up with solutions that can support any of these activities.

How to ensure proper communication between people who work from home and those who come to the office?

A video call system should be installed in every meeting room regardless of its size and function. This is to facilitate effective communication between a team where some of the members work from home and others in the office. Remember, hybrid meetings require different rules and specific moderation. It’s important to make sure that everybody feels comfortable and has equal rights to participate and take the floor during a video call.

How many meeting rooms and spaces should you have in your office?

It all depends on the size of your team and the nature of the work. In order to measure the needs of a specific organisation, it’s good to perform a workplace analysis. Numerous studies in this respect indicate that most meetings involve 2-3 people. This means you need a number of small rooms. On the other hand, large training and conference rooms can be smartly divided into a few smaller spaces with smart, flexible furniture solution and movable partition walls. An office should also have rooms designed for brainstorming and creative work, as well as separate spaces for informal meetings and ad hoc consulting sessions. The key aspect when organising effective meeting places is to make sure they are flexible and easy to rearrange, so that a specific space can be quickly adjusted to the needs of a specific meeting.

What about the need to focus? Focus rooms are now used mainly for video calls.

What we propose in Communication Hub is Focus XL: a shared focus room to make the most of the available space. It’s crucial to define and implement clear-cut rules from the onset – absolute silence and focus on working. Movable partition walls and tall panels between the desks are a visual separator to keep you apart from others and help you focus on the task.

Can you see any other challenges your office is going to face?

Do you have questions that still need to be answered? Contact our experts to see how you can arrange an effective workspace of tomorrow.