What does the future of your office look like? The pandemic has transformed the way we work, with many businesses adopting a hybrid/work-from-home in the past few years to minimise the spread of the virus. Even with things returning to a semblance of normalcy in the past year, the hybrid work model is here to stay.
This shift in the way we work has also affected the demand for commercial office space. Everything, from the type of office spaces employees prefer working in, to the leasable area needed to accommodate the on-site workforce, is changing. This poses a unique challenge to businesses seeking to develop the ideal office space to support their hybrid work policy. In this article, we will be exploring the key hybrid work trends and their potential impact on commercial office spaces.
Trend #1: A greater emphasis on collaborative spaces
Traditionally, employees are assigned a dedicated space to work in the office. With the shift to hybrid work arrangements, there is less need for each worker to have their own desk. This change has led to the rise in open-plan, flexible office spaces where employees can choose where they wish to work within the office, allowing for greater flexibility and accommodating more knowledge-sharing and collaboration opportunities for staff.
Consequently, the layout of such flexible office spaces should be less focused on individual work areas and more on creating spaces dedicated to internal and cross-department collaborations. This could mean incorporating more conference rooms with video conferencing equipment and lounges with meeting nooks and couches.
Trend #2: Less real estate but better-equipped offices
With hybrid work, the physical office space is being used less than before. As a result, many businesses are considering rightsizing (the process of restructuring a business to increase efficiencies) to meet updated business objectives. The savings from this process can be re-invested in new workspace features, amenities, and even more convenient office locations for employees, thereby helping improve staff’s quality of life.
For example, the amenities can include a fully equipped cafeteria, in-office gyms, more ergonomic chairs, and more. All of these features contribute to an amenity-rich and flexible office space that incentivises employees to return to their workplaces more often – whether it is for work or activities outside of work.
Trend #3: More spaces dedicated to health and well-being
Despite a hybrid work schedule, many workers are logging longer hours than before the pandemic. This statistic may be attributed to the blurring of boundaries between work and personal life as work-from-home becomes a norm. However, if left unattended, fatigue can accumulate and cause stress and burnout, leading to lower productivity among employees.
To combat this issue, businesses can transform the way employees view their workplace, such as transforming the office into a place that promotes personal agency and wellness. Unused office space can be reconfigured into meditation rooms or break-out areas for employees to relax and switch off from work.
The focus is on creating a flexible office space that emphasises personal comfort in the layout, for example, by prioritising large open windows to let natural light in, casual seating, and offering access to outdoor terraces and greenery. With these changes, companies can transform the office into a comfortable and welcoming space that promotes self-fulfilment and personal well-being.
More employees now value flexibility and the ability to balance their professional and personal lives. By investing in a flexible office space that adapts to the hybrid work model, companies can entice staff to continue collaborating and connecting with one another in a physical environment without abandoning a virtual work setting entirely.
At Keppel Land, we believe a hybrid work model presents a unique opportunity to reshape the ways of working. With our Sustainable Urban Renewal solutions, we are adapting to hybrid work trends and are proactively seeking new solutions to evolve our commercial offices into the future of work. If you are interested to lease an office space designed for hybrid work, feel free to reach out to us.