Is the office of the future nothing more than a place to meet?

At the time of writing, the pandemic is by no means over. We have been through an intense period full of uncertainties, changing work environments and visions of the future. We spend a great deal of time on the latter. We pick up trends in the market, research has been done into returning to the office and the most frequently heard term is: Hybrid Working.

Most companies will not allow their employees to return to the office completely. It has been enjoyable to work from home. But working from home permanently and offices becoming superfluous?

We will not switch to a changed office environment as quickly as we switched to working from home (in part or in full). We had to start working from home overnight. We had no choice, but we do now have time to think about how we are going to organize working from the office.

The office as a meeting place

Research conducted by PwC shows that if all employees work from home for one day longer, this could lead to rising costs in the long term. This is primarily attributed to the effects of reduced collaboration and lower levels of commitment to the organization.

Research from PwC shows that the most effective collaboration occurs at (physical) venues that promote the exchange of ideas. Another major loss is the lack of interaction around the coffee machine. These unexpected encounters often lead to new ideas. We are therefore convinced that hybrid working will become the new way of working. Doing work that requires concentration from home and using the office more for collaboration. The office is becoming a meeting place for creative brainstorming sessions, inspirational kick-offs, a place to meet clients in showrooms and to maintain a sense of togetherness.

‘’In short, the office for meeting, home for productivity.’’

Who, what, where and how?

Companies will have to think about how they set up the office as a meeting place, combined with hotdesking. But what does the ideal office of the future look like? Organizations will have to ask themselves questions such as:

  • When do you work from home and what tasks do you go to the office for?
  • For whom is working from home suitable and who is better off working at the office?
  • How do you determine the different functions of the building? What functions are required?
  • Are there sufficient resources for working from home and from the office? And what resources do I need to make available to my employees for this? (Monitor arms, laptop holders, electrification for a workstation, lighting)
  • What rules are necessary when we meet?
  • How do you coach your employees, remotely or live?
  • How do we ensure effective collaboration?
  • What is important to your employees?
  • Is it sufficient to offer a homeworking package? Or should you offer the appropriate ergonomic advice the same way you normally would for an employee?

What does your office of the future look like?

The office as a meeting place or home for concentrated working. In any case, every workstation will need to meet a number of basic conditions. For example, every workstation must be equipped with a number of fixed parts. Every employee uses an individual mouse and keyboard and takes these everywhere. This is the only way to guarantee flexibility, hygiene and ergonomics. But a good desk, chair and (extra) screens (not resting on books or packs of of paper, but attached to a properly adjusted monitor arm) are just as essential at home as they are at the office. The set up at home could be different to the office (because of the space available, amongst others), but there is a practical solution for every situation and for every way of working.

Would you like to know more about how to set up your office and your employees’ home workstations optimally? Then contact us, we would be delighted to advise you on your specific situation.

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