Managing Professional Office Space: Key Lessons From 2020

Kenny Kane is the Chief Working Officer at Firmspace. 


It’s laborious to imagine that just about a yr in the past we have been nestled into our work-from-home setups considering that we’d be again on the workplace in simply a few months.
We’ve realized lots about what individuals want from their work surroundings since then. For some, working from house is a dream; for others, it’s a nightmare; and for a lot of, it’s a blended bag. Flexibility and distraction are two sides of the identical coin.
This is the reason so many professionals have saved commuting to a personal workplace house daily: the peace of an workplace with closed doorways, the irreplaceable spark of collaborating in individual, the consolation of figuring out your constructing takes pandemic security severely.

Because the business actual property business reckons with what’s subsequent for the downtown workplace, traders ought to pay shut consideration to how the pandemic has formed professionals’ requirements for the office. Right here’s what business actual property leaders must find out about what as we speak’s professionals need in an workplace house.

Professionals deserve — and need — privateness.
Privateness is the antithesis of the noisy, open-floor-plan paradigm of pre-pandemic work. And the house workplace has solely introduced a brand new set of day by day distractions.

A survey of over 2,000 staff final Could discovered that lack of focus was the most important problem of distant work for 40% of respondents. The nationwide childcare disaster has hindered thousands and thousands of oldsters’ productiveness, whereas staff of all ages have struggled to discover a quiet and safe house at house for conferences and targeted work.
Even earlier than the pandemic when the open flooring plan was king, the format wasn’t all the time the enhance to collaboration proponents mentioned it was. One research discovered that after an workplace redesign to open-floor, staff spent 73% much less time in face-to-face interactions.
That’s in all probability as a result of busy professionals crave privateness, which house and open-floor places of work don’t present. Closed-door places of work and sound-proof partitions will seemingly be a sought-after amenity for corporations seeking to downsize or relocate post-pandemic.
However privateness isn’t solely a spatial and sonic drawback. The pandemic has underscored the safety vulnerabilities of distant staff, as 2020 introduced quite a few and assorted cyberattacks. Personal workplace areas will want a extra strong IT infrastructure, too, plus the lightning-fast web connection that almost all professionals can’t get at house.
Significant collaboration wants its personal house.
The issue with open places of work is that with no visible distinction between non-public work and group work, staff might not find yourself doing a lot of both. Along with a personal workspace of 1’s personal, professionals additionally want separate areas for collaboration. 
Video conferencing platforms have considerably successfully substituted in-office collaboration all through the pandemic, however we’ve heard of many cases the place Zoom doesn’t all the time meet the mark: 
• Govt groups want a sophisticated setting the place they will host board members. 
• Hiring managers want an area that displays their firm’s values when interviewing job candidates.
• Administration groups want a safe convention room the place they will talk about confidential knowledge.
A collaborative house, in different phrases, will not be solely an area the place individuals can meet — it’s an area the place individuals can meet in confidence. True collaboration wants privateness, too. 
The perfect workplace house for professionals is one which accommodates each solitude and teamwork, every demarcated by partitions and doorways. Business actual property portfolios ought to embody workplace areas that assist this mannequin of collaboration.
Staff ought to really feel secure and supported of their workspace.
There’s going to be a whole lot of anxiousness round returning to the workplace, even after a lot of the inhabitants has been vaccinated. The duty for business actual property managers and workplace designers can be to construct an workplace ecosystem that serves each significant collaboration and public well being.
Business actual property leaders can do lots to ease these considerations by investing in proptech options that prioritize security. The majority of that work can be rigorous cleansing techniques and touchless expertise, which can profit professionals each flu season to come back.
Business actual property is due for a metamorphosis of pre-pandemic well being requirements. The excellent news is more healthy, higher-quality workspace additionally has a optimistic affect on efficiency: One experiment discovered that happiness can enhance productiveness by as much as 12%. A contented workspace is an surroundings that nurtures well-being — one which has good air high quality, pure mild, comfy seating and inexperienced house, amongst different issues.

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