How Office Interiors has Changed or Need to Change During / Post-Pandemic?
As nations cautiously make their way towards relaxing COVID-19 lockdowns, many companies are wondering whether it’s time to get their employees back to the office. Yet, at the same time, they are confronted with the challenge of making their workplaces safe and secure enough to convince employees to return to their desks.
COVID-19 will compel offices to relook at spaces on multiple levels and adopt a human-centric design that puts people first through the elimination of materials that lack sustainability certification or are prone to dust; investment in IT solutions and AI along with AR; and usage of glass or acrylic partitions to sub-divide spaces and create enclosures.
Other path-breaking innovations could likely be:
Offices could adopt reputed commercial real estate services provider, Cushman and Wakefield’s 6-feet office concept, which comprises a physical fit-out and a number of visual and physical cues, to reduce the number of touchpoints and ensure a safe and productive workspace.
Other likely introductions could be the implementation of access control points, separate entry, and exits, and directional routing to minimize the chance of people bumping into each other while also easing the flow of peak-hour foot traffic. Further, hot-desking could reduce considerably to ensure a safe workspace and hygiene.
Office partitions will be higher but at the same time designed to accommodate the flexibility of employees and ensure their productivity. It will seamlessly enforce the idea of social distancing with ample space and encourage the idea of collaboration through purposefully designed glass partitions.
MIX OF ENCLOSED & OPEN-MEETING SPACE
Enclosed meeting rooms will not disappear altogether, but will be designed in a way that will mitigate risks. They will be smaller in size with divided screens that will shield them from high-density office areas. Standing in a meeting room will also be common though with a limited number of people for a shorter period of time; they will not only reduce the risk of contamination but also enable businesses to adapt to more agile discussion methods.
Overall, the meeting rooms will become multi-purpose, with moveable walls, desks, and seating as well as motion doors or no doors, all of which will ensure that people using such rooms will not have the need for opening or closing doors.
SOCIAL DISTANCING METHODS
Social distancing will be reflected in offices with the help of a range of methods like directional traffic, decais, workplace signage, sneeze screens, desk hygiene stations, and so on.
BIOPHILIC DESIGN ENVIRONS
Offices will sport organic and biophilic layouts with spacious one-way circulation, safe distance between work positions, small meeting spaces, high and conventional tables, to encourage movement among employees.
The concept will also incorporate green walls with plants that help clean the air; natural materials like wood into spaces; indoor water features like ponds and waterfalls; and circadian lights that offer different color temperatures like lighter white lighting to mimic daylight that will keep the human body’s internal clock in line.
In addition to the above, other likely changes could be:
- Visitors coming into space with the registration and temperature screening process. Herein, the air-conditioning system could be altered to provide the highest quality of air filtration possible and how much outside air is brought into space. These two will be vital to disperse contaminants.
- Installation of equipment that will make the space as touchless as possible, like motion-sensing doors and light switches. There could also be spaces designed without doors at all, to remove surfaces that multiple people are touching.
- Materials used in the space could get upgraded to materials that are treated with anti-microbial coatings or natural anti-microbial properties.
All of the above changes will usher in designed spaces that promote health and hygiene in a big way.
WORK FROM HOME CONCEPT
In the pre-COVID-19 period, most organizations had consistently seen WFH with a level of suspicion, for fluctuated reasons. Notwithstanding, as COVID-19 started entering the public cognizance, numerous organizations chose to let the majority of their representatives telecommute for any event seven days before the cross country lockdown that initiated on March 25, 2020, in India.
In the underlying stages, most organizations confronted issues like accessibility of business-related information, availability, and framework. Yet, with time, the issues were generally settled. Still, some pinpricks remain.
The inquiry is whether WFH will turn into the new typical in India and around the world?
Exploration discoveries by BCG, Gallup, and others demonstrate that a vastly larger part of the representatives overall are content telecommuting and might want a similar plan even after the COVID-19 danger dies down. Most managers also appear to be happy with the new working plans.
US organizations Facebook, Google, and SalesForce have broadened WFH for their representatives until the finish of 2020, and are hoping to make it lasting later for half of their labor forces. Twitter has gone above and beyond by declaring that its workers could select WFH forever. In India, TCS, an IT major, has reported designs to guarantee that 75% of its labor force will telecommute by 2025.
Around the world, assessments are separated about whether WFH will turn into the perpetual standard. While numerous specialists feel that it likely could be the standard, US-based Sasaki Designs, a between disciplinary engineering, arranging, scene, and configuration firm feels that WFH won’t be the standard for eternity. Its creators however feel that innovation has made work from a far distance conceivable. In any event for coordinated efforts, concentrated organizations like theirs, there are cutoff points to far off associations – like cooperatively outlining a drawing that can’t be recreated by means of a video call.
A few specialists additionally feel despite the fact that the WFH idea permits most organizations to do likewise, evaluating efficiency will turn into a test. To try and out the issue, gauges recommend that post-pandemic, some segment of the week will include telecommuting – from one to three days per week, and the leftover from office, in what is known as the ‘Crossbreed Model’. This model will adjust the efficiencies picked up by distant work with the advantages of social communications, imagination, and development created by working face to face with others.
There is additionally the worker point of view wherein individuals settle on new decisions about where they need to live which thus makes new assumptions regarding adaptability, working conditions, and life-balance.
Half breed model would be the most probable idea embraced by workplaces post-pandemic. To enhance the equivalent, changes could be made to adjust to the possible new ordinary in manners like Desk areas intended to look like disconnected bigger workstations rather than rooms with guest seats. Segments could be made of glass and covered with roller blinds as opposed to icing films. This will permit the worker to encounter a sensation of bigger space, with protection when required.
Workstations can remain as open-arranged, however with some screening gadgets isolating groups, which could be fixed or foldable.
Work areas and seats should be measured. This will oblige one for every module, put at a necessary separation from one another. Further, this will also encourage future tweaking better. On the home front, representatives should make changes and embrace new advances to make telecommute agreeable and helpful.
Generally, the adaptability offered by mass-reception of new innovations and maybe more adaptable strategies concerning far off working will change insight and desires for a time in the workplace.
THE RIGHT SOURCE FOR NEW-AGE OFFICE DESIGN
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