By Rachel Houghton, MD at Business Moves Group

I recently wrote about the importance of quality workspaces as part of my recap of 2022 and look ahead to 2023. The next topic I’m turning my attention to is the return, reimagine and redefining of the office. It is safe to say we saw plenty of this in 2022, with various businesses encouraging more of their employees back to the workplace and investments in such infrastructure to make it more desirable. As I wrote in my letter to the Financial Times, workplaces are constantly evolving to new challenges and trends.

Employee Experience

Throughout this year, we have seen greater investement in employee engagement as a way of encouraging workers back to their office space, as our understanding of what we needed and desired from the workplace has changed. In prior years, the workplace was just where we worked! But recent years have proven that we can work efficiently anywhere, which is why the legitimacy of the workplace has been under discussion.

More and more businesses have been asking the question to their teams about what they want out of a workplace, whether it’s greater desk space, more collaborative spaces, or more perks. Businesses have then been using this feedback to shape and redefine their workspace as their teams requested.

Workplace Culture

What is also important to remember, however, is how these physical changes to the workplace reflect the culture of a company. Paul Urmston discussed in his talk at Workplace Trends about the different types of workspaces, such as the fluid model. Here, the workspace is designed around human interaction, with open spaces, relaxed, informal seating options, and fewer private, indidvual desks.

Whilst this new office space design is very modern and attractive, if your company culture has not shifted to reflect the space, then this model will be unsuccessful. If your office culture pre-pandemic was not socially-centred, then your teams are not necessarily going to feel comfortable with using such informal spaces.

If you are undergoing a workplace change and are gunning for a new design for your teams, you must ensure there is efficient communication about what is expected of them when using social spaces, and how you want those spaces to be used. Otherwise you may see all of your hard work go to waste.

If your business needs help with a workplace change project, get in touch!


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