The New Hybrid London Office Space
New trends in office spaces focus on different emerging factors. As a result, office design is changing to incorporate a whole new system of values that were inaugurated through the pandemic. Office designers argue that these changes were already pending, but that the circumstances and conditions of the last years have catalysed their implementation. In such a changing environment, the cubicle farms of the old office are a thing of the past. As working from home, or remotely is normalized, the function of the hybrid office ushers in a whole new arena of workplace. Here are three key features which are redefining the office space.
1. Office as social and innovation hub
As many people will be working from home part-time, the office functions as a place where both in-person and remote working can take place simultaneously. Since many spent the last years in isolation, the emphasis on the new office is its role to foster collaboration, teamwork, and innovation. To encourage this, the office must be versatile, inspiring, and able to accommodate different modes of interaction between colleagues. Here are a few ways this is expressed in new office design:
- Pods are small spaces within an open-plan layout that are soundproofed and designed for someone to work in. They are safe and confidential spaces to work in, which can be well spaced out and located within a wider open space. They are a flexible solution to providing a secluded space for a confidential call without the weight and fixity of an assigned cubicle. Booked in advance for use through the dynamic system of hoteling.
- Internal open staircases, high double ceilings, and open plan lounges all add to a sense of spaciousness and airiness.
- The sense of a home at home. Sofas and rugs create small intimate areas in larger spaces, giving a sense of home in the workplace. Engineered hardwood floors give a sense of warmth and homeliness to the office environment. Soft lighting and artwork make the office a place where one can be social, comfortable, and creative.
- Flexible furniture – the new design uses furniture which can be easily moved around and adapted to the number of participants meeting in a group. Smaller units with wheels and castors which can be easily moved and changed give more flexibility of purpose to the changing needs of the office.
- Refreshments, beer fridges, coffee machines, and food halls all bring a sense of a relaxed social environment. Small start-up food businesses can be incorporated into the office layout as they are guaranteed a client base and represent a departure from the dreary old format canteen.
2- Biophilia in the Office
Biophilia is the new buzzword in office design; originally defined as “the passionate love of life and all that is alive”. Essentially, humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature, and therefore in a working environment, they should be surrounded by plants. As a result, it has been observed that plants in an office can increase productivity by 15% as well as improve the air quality. Furthermore, the visual effect of plants is always pleasing and adds to the overall ambiance. Foliage breaks up hard lines and offers a contrast to synthetic materials and can also reduce the toxin load in the air from all the technology. Three ideas offices are embracing are:
- Living Walls
A living wall is a cascading space of plants, aesthetically occupying a large wall space. Inspiring and creative, this installation of life is designed to improve air quality and circulation. They are also reputed to reduce noise levels in open office spaces which means less overall fatigue and better concentration in the workplace.
- Professional planters
Having a professional company design a planter schema for your office can be a major innovative design theme. Large plants require custom-made planters, and when these are such important features of the workspace, they are also a canvas to work with. Texture and colour can have a big impact on the interior design of the space, particularly when they located throughout the space.
- Interiorscaping with plants
The addition of green wall dividers and plants in offices can set up social distancing zones within office spaces. Modular partitions curated from planters and living walls are preferable, as instead of suggesting a municipal guideline, they make aesthetic boundaries that freshen the air. This new way of delineating boundaries in an office is an innovation that celebrates biophilia and wellbeing.
Companies are encouraging modern offices to enhance workplace security, hygiene and wellbeing. Automated light switches and taps are now essential for health and safety. Touchless technology is steadily becoming the norm. Facial recognition and voice recognition are surpassing old forms of technology that rely on contact with surfaces. Additionally, air purifiers, UV C lighting and electrostatic sprayers are all ways of reducing microbes in shared spaces. Robust wireless systems in the office space allow the flexible use of shared space to develop. Hoteling, a new innovative office practice, involves the use of shared spaces that are booked at times for conferences and meetings. Ensuring all systems are easily compatible with all devices allows hoteling to work in the office from pod to meeting room.
As the trend of hybrid working and offices develops the office is seen as one part of the workplace ecosystem. Included in the workplace ecosystem are the home, cafés, libraries, and co-working spaces. As hoteling is adopted in offices, it promotes the flexibility required for the “agile workspace”. Increasingly, adaptation and flexibility are key drivers in how the ecosystem functions. Similarly, these places will have similar characteristics, with the office remaining the hub for social innovation. Many offices now include gyms, spaces for yoga and meditation, and food halls. In addition, providing bicycle rooms and showers is also important, as one of the key things people are happy to lose in the old work model is the long germ laded commute. Unsurprisingly, being able to walk to work is a key motivational factor in people’s employment choices. While the old model office has definitely died a death, the function of the new office within the workplace ecosystem has an important role and requires an innovative venue as headquarters.
Transplanting your office with Safe Removals
With the emphasis in the new office being on productivity, wellbeing, and social innovation, it may be time for your business to find new premises. A hybrid office can require less space, with careful design, or you may want to incorporate more adjacent green space into the working world of your team. Whatever the reasons for a move, it’s a great time to set up a new working environment. While some thought the age of the office was over, it is only the beginning of its new hybrid incarnation. As office removal experts we are on hand to assist you with your move. Working at the forefront of this sector since 2004, we can guarantee a safe, secure, and structured move of your office from one place to another. We can even factor in all the plants that may also need to be careful consideration. Contact us for a free quote and we tailor a plan which suits your specific needs.