Returning to the Office

As the COVID vaccination rollout progresses, we have been working with our clients to evaluate their current floorplans and suggest changes as employees start to reenter the office. We have been using Steelcase’s “Five Ways to Build a Compelling + Safe Workplace” to guide the planning process.  Here is what we learned:

Ecosystem of Places:  More Choice, More Control

Different types of work demand different types of spaces.  Make sure users have a variety of spaces to choose from for focus, team and collaborative work.  Furniture will need to support all these tasks, plus allow for social distancing or the use of screens.

Shift from Fixed to Fluid

One thing we know for sure is that we need to be prepared for change, whatever the future brings. Having furniture that can adapt to a variety of conditions makes sense, especially when the furniture can be moved and adjusted by the user. No need to schedule facilities or pay for an outside installer when the users can do it themselves.

Make Every Collaboration Space High Performing

One of the main reason’s employees will want to return to the office will be for collaboration. These spaces need to be outfitted with all the proper gear:  video conferencing, whiteboards, mobile power, PPE storage, technology. Now is the time to look at your conference rooms and decided if they are the right sizes for your needs. Safe to say, we will not be needing large conference rooms in the near future but splitting them into several smaller rooms might make sense.

Merge the Digital and the Physical

Blending virtual and in-person teams will be critical to successful collaboration. Spaces need to make all participants feel included (video on!). Technology and the furniture that supports it will take a higher role in planning and spending.

Also, with the return to office focusing on collaboration, reserving rooms, and finding rooms that meet a group’s needs will have to be easy and quick.  Large groups congregating in hallways is no longer an option!

Please reach out to Franklin for a complimentary audit of your current floorplan and let us get ready to return to a better workspace!