During Sunak’s interview, he also discussed the importance of the office for employee development.
Imagine you’ve just left college or university; you start this job in a big company and you’re sitting at home on your own.How do you get to know your peers, how do you learn the culture of an organisation, how do you get those mentors, which are important for your career development?
To increase your chances of keeping hold of ambitious employees, consider introducing a dedicated space for training and mentoring.
This may be a meeting room with an electronic booking system, a plug and play workstation accompanied by a mobile whiteboard or monitor, or bleacher seating pointing towards a presentation screen.
Whatever setup you decide to use, it’s important to promote the fact that your business supports training and mentoring. Presenting a dedicated space will highlight this in a tangible way.
Explore XMA’s “The Hub” Training Area, Sponsored by Microsoft
In XMA’s London Head Office, a collaborative workspace was refurbished with a variety of seating and built-in power points, perfect for training staff and clients to demonstrate the capabilities of the latest Microsoft Surface devices.
Clearly, video technology hasn’t been able to reproduce the social experience of talking at the water cooler, working side-by-side or meeting at lunch.
For those employees who have missed the social aspect of office life, introducing spaces dedicated to mixing with colleagues will be a welcome addition.
Here are a few ideas:
Resimercial Interior Design
As employees have got used to home comforts, a resimercial (residential meets commercial) themed space for lunching and socialising will be ideal. For a truly inviting breakout area, consider introducing bamboo seating, light and relaxing colours, rugs, biophilic elements, and throws.
The Indeed survey also revealed that 64% miss fewer distractions at the office compared to working from home. This is interesting data, as one might assume that working from home would offer fewer distractions.
Given that this is the case, there’s no harm in introducing a few extra elements to reduce distractions in the workplace.
Some offices even offer “quiet areas” where employees can double down on tasks. These are ideal for those working to tight deadlines and who need to get away from chatty colleagues!
Portable and Modular Furniture Options
There has been a lot of talk about companies offering the option of flexible working to employees on a full-time basis. For many, this will be completely new and may take some to get right.
With portable and customisable office furniture, you can reconfigure the design to adapt to the needs of your employees. Equally, your employees can move the elements around to enable them to perform specific tasks.
Here are a few examples where you can, you can change things up with ease and develop a layout that maximises productivity.
Modular seating is extremely practical as you can break it up into separate parts and re-build when necessary. This is also useful in the short term while social distancing regulations are still in place.
Pods are suitable for independent or collaborative working, and these days some are built with wheels so you can move them around the office. A pod was installed for Engie Impact, as an addition to the CAT B fit out carried out for the landlord at Riverbridge House, shown in the image above.
Mobile Whiteboards and Monitors
These are ideal for ad-hoc brainstorming sessions around the office. If you’ve got a selection of furniture for team tasks, then mobile equipment will be a valuable accompaniment.
Collaboration Made Easy
Let’s face it, video technology just isn’t the same as face-to-face collaboration. It can be hard to pick up on visual cues and battling with malfunctioning technology is enough to make you want to pull your hair out.
As collaboration has been more of a challenge during the pandemic, employees will value changes to workplace interiors that facilitate team tasks. This will be especially important for companies transitioning into flexible working, as the office will provide the space where important meetings can be held and creative ideas shared.
The modern way to do this is to create an agile space where employees can “plug in and play” with their devices. For example, you could introduce shared meeting tables with integrated power, pods for two or more people, and lounge areas with nearby plug sockets for laptops.
A Designated Area for Collaboration in Ethypharm’s Office
As a focal point in Ethypharm’s office, our designers included a central breakout space with acoustic solutions for informal meetings, promoting flexible working practices in the workplace design.
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