The pandemic may not be over, but at least the world is moving forward. The past few years have affected us all in so many ways, and the office was not immune to these shifts. Now that restrictions have eased up, we can finally leave our dining tables and bedrooms and move back to offices and shared workspaces. However, there are many aspects of the modern workspace that will change to keep employees happy, safe, and healthy.
Companies like Microsoft and Google are committing to adapting their offices to a more hybrid model where employees work remotely and at the office. According to Microsoft, over 70% of employees want flexible remote work options while over 65% want more face-to-face time with their teams. This shows that although people enjoy the flexibility and safety of working from home, there is a dire need to bring people back into the office in a way that makes them feel comfortable and secure.
This change in the office space model might mean that open-plan offices are no longer the norm. Breakout rooms, conference rooms, and small meeting rooms will take precedence over larger open spaces.
Although corporates are choosing to downsize their office spaces, in August 2020, Pinterest pulled out of a plan to move into a new San Francisco office covering almost 500,000 square feet. They paid almost $100 million in termination fees! This just shows you that corporates understand that while employees do want to come back to the office, having the full strength of your workforce in the office every day, all day, is not ideal.
Rather than investing in personal desks, you might find employees rotating and sharing spaces. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase has suggested that their own bank might only require 60% of the desks they currently hold - that is 60 desks for every 100 employees.
This is one aspect of workspaces that we are all most familiar with. Things like sneeze guards, tap/scanning cards instead of touching screens and using fingerprints and ensuring adequate space for social distance are all things that workspaces need to consider.
Companies will also start to choose materials that are easier to clean and can withstand stronger cleaning products like stone and laminates over natural wood. These are all changes we keep track of at SILA and we continue to adapt our strategies and processes accordingly.
From contactless entry to smart lighting systems, pressing buttons is now a thing of the past! Employees will no longer punch in or out via a fingerprint but perhaps use facial recognition or a key card to do this. There are even systems where employees' movements are tracked and shown on a digital map, allowing you to locate you without entering spaces or walking around unnecessarily. SILA has integrated contactless attendance tracking QR code-enabled checklists and technology to help with quality control and supervision into industrial as well as commercial premises to help you adapt to these evolving times.
Gadgets like door sensors, automatic taps and soap dispensers, voice-activated elevator banks, and other contactless devices are now in huge demand in corporate spaces. Ventilation systems, air conditioning, and even lighting can be upgraded for better safety and wellness, thanks to new technology that has emerged during the pandemic.
Workspace Technology is advancing at a high rate, and at SILA we intend to be one step ahead of the curve! At Sila, we focus on managing office facilities and providing the best workplace.