How Workers Expectations are Driving the Need for an Elastic Interior
Workforce expectations have been changing for a while now; the pandemic just accelerated this. The door to remote work has been blown open, and the realities of what work looks like are varied.
Most of the uncertainty around returning to work is simply not knowing what it will look like. Leading your employees post-pandemic requires an understanding of where you are, where you are going, and how to be prepared. In general, we are moving toward a more “human-centered” workplace. If you want to attract and retain top talent, it’s important to provide a work environment that is agile and allows for people to do their best work.
For instance, in deciding whether to return to the office, with a "we" focus, you would consider the varying needs of the people on your team. That same focus allows you to approach your decisions with greater empathy for people’s different experiences.
Inside offices, space is becoming more versatile. Workplaces are being transformed into different areas for collaboration, private work or relaxation and furnished accordingly. Luckily, these changes will also benefit the next generation of employees.
Flexible work arrangements are a huge draw for Millennials and Generation Z. They are already accustomed to constant contact and access, so they are less likely to draw boundaries around their personal and professional lives. An elastic interior is a perfect solution for creating a dynamic work place that can handle change. These new entrants to the workforce have a lot of potential to offer, and the office space should match that.
A couple of ways to make sure the space can grow and change includes a good space plan and design, furniture that is able to be reconfigured, prefabricated construction like DIRTT to change the floor plate, and listening to/getting feedback from your team to be willing to change and adjust as needed. Many organizations are investing in occupancy software, such as Herman Miller’s Live Platform to see real time data about how the space is being used. Your companies needs will continue to change over time, so plan your space now to be flexible and able to adjust to changes so that you and your team will have the tools needed to maximize your success.