As the UK slowly transitions out of a third national lockdown, businesses across the country are starting to prepare their post-COVID workplace strategies.
Although remote working has proved successful for many, recent research from consultancy firm West Monroe found business leaders are still positive about office working. The survey reported 43% of respondents splitting their team between the office and remote work, 37% will mostly work from the office with some remote work, and only 1% said they were proceeding entirely remotely.
It's clear from these findings remote and office working are here to stay and will work in tandem to create a superior hybrid experience. So how can businesses prepare for a return to the office?
Three areas to consider for a return to the office:
Logistically businesses will explore the parameters and limitations of the office in terms of safety, entrances and exits, one-way systems. Office design will need to support social distancing and reduce contact points like never before.
Cleaning and sanitisation schedules, space management and desk layout are further logistical points to consider.
The first port of call for businesses is deciding who will return to the office and when. Once a plan is together for their people's return, businesses will explore how they can support their team with the transition. Communicating the strategy and details around PPE and social distancing will also be a high priority.
Are there enough parking spaces and shower facilities for those avoiding public transport? How will remote workers feel included and supported?
What IT needs to be provided for each team member? Will the IT setup differ for those remote working? How will shared devices and equipment be limited and controlled? In what way will technology keep a multi-location team connected? What role can technology have in encouraging collaboration?
What are my Options?
Once you've explored some of the key questions above, a fit out partner can start to design a service built around your specific requirements which will probably include one of the following options:
- Space Planning:
Manage your transition back to the office in line with new safety regulations. Space planning assesses how the office serves your people by understanding what alterations need to be made from rearranging furniture and partitions or designing one-way traffic systems.
- Information Technology Improvements:
Improve digital connectivity and IT strategy to enable secure communication between teams and remote workers. Virtual meetings are here to stay.
- Environmental Enhancements:
Ventilation, clean air and a healthy atmosphere are now high priority for many businesses. We don't mean adding a few plants and calling it a day. Adapt the mechanical services in your office to improve health and wellbeing.
- Alterations & Refurbishment of current space:
Will your current office require optimisation to prepare for a return? Alterations and refurbishment can update your workspace in line with safety standards and new regulations from partition layouts, doors and windows, flooring, mechanical services, and furniture revisions.
- Split Demise
Subletting is still an option for those businesses looking to downsize space and lease out part of the office to another tenant. This arrangement will require a split demise service where one office is made into two or more additional lettable spaces. An attractive option for tenants tied into a lease who don't need all the space due to a change in requirements and working styles.
Move out and Move on
What if you decide your current office isn't working for you anymore? There is a range of options to choose from; a serviced office or commissioning your own full fit out are some of the more popular options:
- Dilapidation Works:
If you choose to move out of your current office entirely, some dilapidation work may be required to restore the property to its original state and hand back to the landlord.
- Serviced Office:
Serviced offices provide the essentials like desk space, cleaning and WiFi, but they can also offer a variety of additional luxuries like fully-equipped kitchens, organised events, and roof terraces. A great option if you're seeking a low maintenance office choice.
- New Office:
If you're looking for a fresh start with new swanky office to match, a full fit out is the perfect option. Full fit outs are heavily tailored to consider tenant brand and culture at every step of the process.
Preparation is Key
Whatever you choose to do, we can help prepare for the future by delivering tailored working environments with many of the services we provide above. Our office fit out and refurbishment services are value for money, high-quality and built around your people.
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