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Upgrading your office for a user-centric environment

Oct 25, 2021

Employees have been working from home for over a year and a half and for many, it’s now considered to be their preferred work location. As organizations embrace a hybrid work model where employees work from both home and their corporate office, we are challenged to create office spaces that are a destination of choice. Significant investments are being made in retrofits with the goal of creating a user-centric and meaningful office experience to serve the needs of those who’ve adapted to, and even prefer, working from home. To ensure investment is made in the right spaces, here are a few tips.

Prioritize well-being

Offices that support employee well-being will come out on top as a preferred destination. With endless options to choose from, here are a couple of our top choices for spaces that prioritize well-being:

Outdoor workspaces

Having access to a workspace outside of the four walls is no longer considered as a luxury, but a necessity. Access to greenery and natural light are all design principles that will increase well-being at work, and the outdoor workspace provides these elements in their most natural form. Outdoor workspaces are considered a physical asset, as it’s these spaces that’ll entice employees to come back into the office – thus reaping a return on your investment. Outdoor workspaces will be especially sought out by those employees who have become accustomed to working outside on a nice day at home.

Wellness centres

Provide your workforce with the ability to unwind at any point in their day. Wellness centres are spaces where work can be left behind and employees can rejuvenate through a work-out, yoga session, or a simple meditation. Incorporating these spaces will encourage your employees to come into the office as they’ll know that there’s a place for them to take a break and have some personal time when needed. 

Diversify your workspace offerings

Another big factor in how employees feel about working from the office is the type of workspaces that are offered. At home, many have mastered the home office set-up and they may not look forward to returning to a fluorescent-lit, open floor plan. To satisfy your workforce when in the office, consider the following:

Clearly define areas of collaboration and areas of focus

Libraries have a proven track record in enhancing productivity through clearly delineated areas on site. By taking this concept into the workplace, and separating collaboration areas from focus areas with the appropriate furniture, configuration, and norms this will give your workforce the assurance that whether they come in to collaborate, innovate or work on an agile project, they have a selection of spaces that’ll foster and promote a productive environment.

Keep social interaction at the forefront

As after a year and a half under strict social guidelines, many people are craving quality face-to-face time. Incorporating social spaces such as cafes and lounges ensures that when your employees come to the office, they have a space to catch up with colleagues or mentors. These spaces also promote the casual collisions that we all miss and love. Social spaces are the backbone of enhancing culture in the office, so keeping these at the centre of space planning can create a vibrant and meaningful employee experience.

With a major shift in the purpose of the office, comes a major shift in how we plan physical space. Long gone are the days where a sea of workstations flood the floor plate. The corporate office now competes with the home office; therefore, the investments made on site must be thoughtful. Keeping employee well-being and experience at the forefront of all planning activities will ensure that your organization makes the most out of its real estate portfolio. 

For more information on how TELUS can support your hybrid work strategy, contact us at  TTO@telus.com.