Author, Melanie Carvalho, Workplace Consultant
We’ve come a long way since 2020 when enforced home working sparked initial chaos. We adopted digital collaboration tools, learned that non-real-time, asynchronous communication can be highly effective and invested in desks, task chairs and other furnishings to create our own home offices. For some people, these environments are preferable to the workplaces we left last year. It’s no wonder then, that some are now reluctant to change the habits that they were forced to adopt, and many businesses are struggling to coax employees back into the workplace.
We made drastic amendments to our working lives because we had no other choice, and in turn it unlocked innovation and a newfound ability to choose. Some businesses have thrived, such as those using AI to manage a hybrid workplace in the offices of the future. This is only one example, but the message is clear: businesses must continue to embrace change to thrive in a post-pandemic economy.
I believe that saying ‘If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ is taking the wrong approach. This mindset stunts growth and development. The only constant in life is change, yet we often remain reluctant to welcome it. Humans naturally seek order and regularity, so when change is proposed, it can be met with apprehension, resistance or even refusal. In business and the workplace, this can have lasting consequences.
The move to hybrid working has shifted our mindset and we are redefining the definition of the workplace. It’s now a destination that assists with tasks that are better achieved collaboratively. It has drawn close attention to intent and function meaning that ultimately, the workplace is no longer simply the place we come to work.
Change offers possibility. As our relationships with work and the workplace develop, we can continue to reimagine offices to create spaces that allows business and people to thrive in new ways. The key to embracing change both today and tomorrow is in creating workplaces that enable continuous evolution.
By creating agile spaces that allow for flexibility, we cater to every individual and their needs, while supporting mental wellbeing and physical health. Having said that, it’s important to remember that our needs are still in a state of flux, and it’s vital to prepare for this.
Office interior design should consider:
While change is inevitable, it is not always successful. Drastic measures enforced too quickly can lead to significant disruption, while small adjustments that happen too slowly can be ineffective. However, the greatest challenge to change is the absence of it, as those who refuse to recognise change eventually become irrelevant.
Change is most likely to succeed when it is carried out with careful consideration. In the workplace, change management is crucial whether you’re relocating, redesigning, or simply adopting a new platform. Involving change management at every stage of the process, from inception through to delivery, gives a voice to those that will use the space, creating a collaborative solution designed through the optic of the user.
In any business, people are the most important asset, and they need to be empowered to deliver change successfully. When our Strategy team carry out the process, we consider some of these important milestones:
Over the past year, our homes have evolved, enabling choice, while our workplaces have largely remained the same. This explains some of the reluctance to return, which means it’s never been a better time to embrace the opportunity to change. It’s a challenging but exciting prospect and the hardest part is committing to it. Our team can then help to manage the journey and deliver real-life solutions for your workplace and your people. Get in touch to find out more.
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