General   |   February 16, 2021   |   Helen

The Workplace – when will employees return and how will it change?

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A large proportion of workers will have been out of the office – either working from home, furloughed, on reduced hours or some combination of the three – for more than a year.

Over 50% of Britain’s have enjoyed working from home, no daily commute and a better work/life balance. Although for some people this has been a negative effect to home working, with the sharp rise in issues relating to mental health. Home working has also given businesses the opportunity to assess their working practices and question whether they require large expensive office spaces in the future.

It may be that a lot of business will opt to reopen their workplaces but over time, scale back on space and setup regional hubs, saving on cost whilst choosing to make flexible working part and parcel of their staff benefits package. Other organisations will be aiming to return offices back to their pre-COVID ‘normal’, ensuring they continue to create a collaborative working environment, employee wellbeing and productivity.

Will working environments change and adapt in the coming months? How will employers make the workplace a more desirable location for their staff and motivate, a healthy and happy workforce?

The key component to designing a healthy space supposedly comes down to designing not just space, but a space specifically created for the people in it. If you’re looking at building or altering an office space, it should be designed around how people use it. If your workforce is spending so much of their lives in their office building, they’re going to expect a little more than a desk and a partition.

Developers are much more aware of occupier comfort. Often, they are looking at 30% more fresh air coming into the building and superior levels of natural light and water quality. There is often a requirement for exercise space and, if possible, a roof terrace or external space. Gen Z have very different expectations and are much more conscious about their health, wellbeing and exercise. There is an increasing number of demands from occupiers, as companies want to recruit and retain the best people. Those demands were here already, but the events of recent years have accelerated those trends.

Although people have been working from home with varying degrees of success, there is no doubt that employees will return to their workplace at some stage in the future. There is certainly going to be demand for employers to provide a high level of accommodation, to maintain a healthy and happy workforce.

At Petty Real, our Commercial Property expertise is unrivalled – we are here to help you find your happy place.

 

 


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