Offices will not return to normal but become more “collaborative and creative” workspaces, according to a workplace specialist.
Angela Love, director of Active Workplace Solutions, told Facilitate that based on what "we have been hearing from clients and the feedback we’ve received, the workplace won’t return to its former self".
She said: “We have already heard of clients invoking lease break clauses. Therefore, the landscape will alter somewhat and real estate footprints will undoubtedly shrink.”
But Love urged that “we must remain positive and upbeat that we have been given that unique chance”.
She said: "Don’t write the office off just yet. This is the opportunity to collectively step back and look in... It will quickly become evident that the days of squeezing in as many desks as possible are over. Most of us are social creatures and need to come together. We are entering a new, creative age where workplaces of the future will be reimagined with collaboration and wellbeing at its core."
Love added: "Workplace leaders will also need to establish what the office can offer their employees, many of which have become used to working from home. It’ll be up to department heads and workplace leaders to establish how to best carve into their workplaces to make these spaces possible. Many place great value on the social side of the workplace and the opportunity it lends to forge relationships or network with colleagues.”
Amanda Baber, director of business development at FM firm Portico agrees. She told Facilitate that "the pandemic has accelerated a change that was already happening".
Baber said: "Workplace design had already shifted to allow for more agile zoning and space for creative, collaborative work. The exodus from the office and six months of predominately remote working has proven that large parts of many jobs can be done just as efficiently from home. It has also proven that employees do value the workplace as a place to connect and work together."