Looking for a new office space in 2021 is a more challenging task than it used to be as, over the past year, so much of our normal working routine has changed forever. The on-going pandemic has meant that businesses are now working in an all-new style, and, for those looking to move or upgrade their office space, it’s vital to take this into consideration.
With remote working and video-meetings now being the name of the game, we explore three things you should consider when looking for an office space in 2021.
With an increase in working from home prompted by forced lockdowns, Britain seems to have taken to remote working and is hesitant to go back. In September 2020, The Guardian reported that “only one-third (34%) of UK white-collar employees have gone back to work, lagging far behind their European counterparts, where almost three-quarters of staff (68%) have done so.” With two more subsequent lockdowns since then, you can only imagine businesses are keener to keep their staff working safely from home, and many may never go back to normal.
If your business has settled into the ‘new normal’ and remote working is around to stay, your office space should reflect that. When staff do come into the office, it’s important to encourage collaboration as much as possible and make sure that the face-to-face time they have is best utilised. Whereas before you may have opted for rows and rows of private desks, instead, looking for a space that offers plenty of collaborative working spaces is vital in bringing staff together in the times they are, in fact, together.
Something that comes hand-in-hand with remote working is flexible working hours. For some who are working from home, flexible working hours can be a more efficient way of getting the job done. And, when working remotely becomes the norm, the confines of coming into the office from 9 to 5 suddenly seems much more rigid.
Whether it’s getting an early start to beat the traffic or staying late, having an office space that can allow flexible working hours for staff can be a great benefit to any business. Making sure your staff are able to access the office when they need can mean that, even outside of standard working hours, those who are using flexitime have everything they need at their disposal.
For a shared building, this can mean enquiring about a 24-hour reception and access, or, for a private building, assessing the access situation. Is there adequate parking nearby? For example.
Something else that has sky-rocketed in use are video meetings. A way to talk to staff, clients and employers remotely, video meetings have become commonplace in day-to-day working life. From doing face-to-face check-ups on staff to being able to pitch to new clients remotely, video meetings have stepped up to help replace real-life meetings.
If your business has adopted video calling as a key communication effort, taking that into consideration in your new office space is essential. Although an open-plan office may be something you are looking for, ensuring that there are private rooms where staff can make video calls is vital. This way, background noise is kept to a minimum and your employees can focus on the task at hand, rather than worrying about the number of people walking past whilst they are mid-pitch.
You may not have made these three considerations in the past when looking for an office space, but, as the world changes with the COVID-19 Pandemic, they have become essential considerations for a lot of businesses.
If your company is looking to upgrade your people management as well as your space, at Phase 3 we can help match your business needs with the appropriate HR Technology. From ResourceLink to Core HR and many more, we are HR Technology experts and can make sure you have the right tools for the job.
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