Despite more companies opting for a hybrid working model, the industry is not seeing the equivalent drop in office space demand. This results from the way we work changing, employees now are not comfortable being packed into a small space and are opting to work from home for a few days each week meaning office space is still in high demand. Continue reading to find out why companies are choosing not to reduce the size of their workplace.
Prior to the pandemic it was typical to see the workplace highly packed full of employees. However, many employees now no longer feel comfortable in crowds and feel they are much more at risk of infection if they are tightly packed in. In order to mitigate density issues, an increased square footage is required providing each employee with a larger office footprint in order to make them feel comfortable.
The commercial interiors industry has seen a huge shift towards hybrid working for office workers, typically working three days a week from the office and two from home, essentially reducing time in the office by 30%. It would be natural to assume that office space will no longer be required because of the reduce use of the workplace, however, this is not the case. Employees still value the office for certain tasks, they just want to use it differently to traditional working, so an increase in office space is required.
The traditional office space has had to be redesigned in order to attract and retain employees back at the office as well as to facilitate the way in which employees wish to use it. As employees have become increasingly comfortable with many benefits such as no commuting time or expense, employers have had to improve the workplace to make employees want to work there. Improvements include additional breakout spaces, coffee lounges, informal working spaces, collaboration areas to name a few. Research has also shown that offices located near valued amenities such as restaurants, bars and public transport will be much more attractive to employees.