The last 18 months under varying COVID restrictions in Australia has been difficult and challenging to say the very least. This is true for both families who have turned their homes into offices, and for the Australian business community who are now faced with deciphering what a post COVID work environment looks like.
So, as we look towards a return to work in 2021, the big question that needs to be answered is;
Do you actually need a physical workspace? Whilst the work from home movement has given the flexibility to businesses by maintaining trade and employment levels during lockdown(s), many will agree it’s a short-term solution.
The lack of being able to frequent a physical office space where employees can collaborate and network, along with the social aspect of working with other like-minded individuals is the activity that seems to be missed the most.
But there are many benefits to the future post-covid physical workspace, so when planning your future fit-out requirements, consider the following benefits:
Encourages team building – Your new physical workplace provides the time and space for training and in-person development of your staff and teams.
Contributes significantly to creating and defining corporate culture – This is a chance to reset and create a worker-friendly environment that allows your teams to feel safe in return to a post-covid work environment, one that is a blend of style and sophistication.
Facilitates social interaction and bonds between employees - This is of particular importance to employers whose staff have had more than 18 months with remote, or reduced relationships with other employees.
Allows for more spontaneous idea-sharing and problem-solving – Teams and Zoom are great for flexibility, but the real ideas have always come from think tanks and networking sessions where teams can collaborate, share and innovate.
Champion the tackling of mental health and well-being – The mental well-being of staff is a real and relevant concern for employers as we head to a post-covid work environment. Attracting staff back into the office with the availability of a sophisticated, post-covid compliant physical space is a wonderful incentive for teams heading into 2022.
So, what do we need to consider?
This is a real look in the mirror moment for an Australian business. Not only is there future planning involved, but there are also investments in both time and money, and for businesses that will only just be getting back on their feet, it is a big decision.
As you look to the future for your physical workspace, maybe consider the following:
Why do you need a new office? Consider the above benefits of a physical workspace, but also consider the size and structure of what your business requires for the future.
What kind of environment do your employee’s want to come back to? Conduct staff surveys, speak to your people and teams to understand what they need from a newly created workspace. You will quickly find that what many needed 18 months ago has changed dramatically as we look at a life post-covid.
Where do you want it to be located? A hugely important question that needs to be considered. A strategically placed office is important, however, you will need to consider your staff, clients and accessibility.
Engage a company that aligns with your brand - Planning for a future fit-out all starts by aligning yourself with the right specialist, one that can work with your brand, understand your philosophies and deliver a sustainable yet successful future workplace environment.
Budget Management – Make sure you do the numbers on the budget you want to spend on your company fit-out. The partnership with your fit-out specialist will help you work through the planning stages, budget/cost management, workplace strategy, all the way through to the final delivery of a workspace that your employees will take pride in working from.
This is a unique time for all businesses in Australia, one that allows many to choose how they will represent their brands and staff as we head towards an exciting new future for businesses in Australia.
So, If you are looking for an office fit-out specialist to help you navigate the development of your post-covid work environment, get in touch and one of our specialists will be in touch with you to get you started on your office journey.
NB: Image sourced from Unsplash