What’s needed to encourage staff back to the workplace and how has the pandemic shifted expectations among staff, many of whom have been based at home for more than two years? Innov8 takes a look at the office landscape.


Can we encourage staff back to the office?

The working world has evolved and changed rapidly in recent years. Before the pandemic, we were accustomed to seeing rows and rows of desks. During the pandemic, we found comfort in working from home and discovered that offices are not the only place people can be productive. Now that the pandemic has passed, the purpose of the office has changed, and employee expectations are higher.


Expectations of employees

Now that people have discovered and become accustomed to the comfort of working from home, many are reluctant to return to the office full-time. Employer flexibility is expected, and people are no longer content with ‘free tea and coffee’ being a benefit of working for an employer. Gen Z has the highest expectations compared to older generations. Having entered the working world during the pandemic-era of working, their expectation is to continue working from home for individual work tasks and will only commute to the office to learn from experienced generations and complete work as a team.


How can employers manage these higher expectations?

Employers need to adapt and accept that the pre-pandemic way of working is in the past. The requirement for staff to be in the office full-time is no longer necessary nor accepted by employees. Hybrid working and trust are expected by employees. People will choose to work for companies that offer a flexible work environment to allow for a better work-life balance. Your office space needs to reflect this change and become a place of collaboration for enhanced teamwork and learning.


The new office – a place of collaboration

If I am productive and happy working from home, why should I travel to the office?

There is one thing most of us struggle with when working from home: building relationships and working in collaboration with colleagues. By creating a collaborative work environment and encouraging teamwork within the office employees will be more likely to return for the purpose of collaborating and building professional work relationships.

We have helped employers reduce their office sizes and create spaces for collaborative work. There are easy solutions, such as incorporating group work elements, for example, moveable interactive screens and whiteboards within communal spaces. This encourages teamwork in all areas of the workplace. Most of your commercial space should be dedicated to different sizes of comfortable group areas to allow for different types of collaborative work. However, it is also important to incorporate some quiet individual workstations or pods for those who want to break away and complete some individual work.


Turning your office into a collaboration space does not need to be a difficult task. This is where we can help shed knowledge and clarity on commercial interior industry trends. Our unique design process will make this change a fun experience. From the beginning of your project, you will work directly with our design team and workspace consultants. We will get to know exactly what your needs are and can work with your budget, brand, and team. The future workplace is here, let us help you redesign your space to encourage a collaborative work environment that employees will want to commute to.

Getting back to a modern office and workplace