The old five-day week in the office is over.
We live in a post-pandemic world, where our ways of working have seen massive disruptions. From being asked to abandon our offices and work from home to finding a new normal within a culture of hybrid working, co-working spaces and even the traditional, we’re heading back into the ‘office’ and returning to commuting.
The popularity of the hybrid working model can’t be doubted and it is the new way many of us work. There have been some incredible benefits provided by working from home, many of which employers and employees can’t deny, but hybrid working is not without its challenges.
Not everyone’s home is fit for work. Homes were not intended to be our place of work but our haven, where we would leave the stresses of the day at the door. According to a study by Leeds University, 33 per cent of UK office workers have no dedicated workspace at home. With hybrid and at-home working, our work/home lives are becoming merged and our routine is all over the place. Suddenly, we must find a space in our home that we call our office.
Then, to add to the work/life balance pressure, we’re met with the cost-of-living crisis. Not travelling to the office was a massive benefit for many. There were no traffic jams, no need to set the alarm two hours before work and no paying petrol prices and public transport fares at their highest. While commuting adds new financial stress, staying at home is not much better. The cost of heating and electricity is skyrocketing, similarly increasing the pressure on individuals’ budgets.
Emerging solutions for the ‘new normal’
Working from home is here to stay. However, it still cannot be the norm for many due to its challenges. Having autonomy and flexibility for individuals to choose where to work is a key long-term solution that works for both staff and employees.
Having a ‘third space’ to work from, which is convenient to get to, is an excellent new option to separate work from home. This is where WorkfromHub comes in.
Director Neal Byers founded WorkfromHub in early 2021, using his experience in planning future mobility and working closely with local authorities.
He recognised a demand for private hybrid working spaces and noticed unused space on the public sector estate. Seeing the potential to re-imagine what could happen in these underused spaces, WorkfromHub meets the demands of hybrid working – as 30 per cent of home workers are seeking a third space to work from – while giving unused space a new lease of life and new revenue for the hosts.
WorkfromHub is a high-quality, private, calming workspace environment close to excellent transport links and community facilities.
Currently, there are three hubs in South Yorkshire, located at Sheffield interchange, Swinton Rail station and Halfway Park and Ride. These spaces are the perfect solution for people who are on the go and need a place to focus and escape their usual remote working chaos.
To find out more about WorkfromHub visit www.workfromhub.co.uk
Creating spaces to be proud of.
CRE8 Workspaces, Scunthorpe-based furniture and home furnishing manufacturer, tells all about creating workspaces that reflect the changing needs of offices in 2022.
COVID-19 has accelerated the transition to flexible working practices and the subsequent need for smarter, more flexible and more focused environments. Many organisations have adopted this new normal due to the freedom it gives employees in how, when and where they work.
The hybrid model combines the best of working from home and the office. Gone are the days when you come into the office to spend your day in front of a screen – this can now be done at home, so your time in the office can focus on collaboration, knowledge sharing and connection with colleagues.
The Social Hub
Conversations on multi-use, flexible office spaces are not new – as with many things, an experience has accelerated the change. Most companies are coming around to the fact that various work settings need to be offered to allow employees flexibility in how they work and improve productivity.
There has been an increasing emphasis on creating more social, collaborative spaces where staff can come together formally or informally. The collaboration ‘hub’ will offer staff more opportunities for chance encounters, social events, planned knowledge sharing or team building sessions while they spend time in the office.
It is important to appreciate that offices still need to support both desk-based and collaborative working. Focused working may be required between team meetings, and the rise of homeworking means video calls will be frequent and require acoustic separation. The focus/phone/zoom booth will be crucial to ensure that focused work, virtual meetings and team-based activities can function simultaneously.
The Healthy Office
People are now more aware of how the workplace can directly impact their occupant’s health. We can expect an increase in natural ventilation systems being installed in commercial buildings and more widespread monitoring of air quality through accreditations such as WELL and BREEAM. Biophilia through indoor planting and natural textures, colours and patterns will become even more prevalent in design concepts.
Everyone’s mental health has suffered in some way during the pandemic. The importance of the social aspects of working in an office has been realised and forward-thinking companies will seek to bring employees together through space in the office or organised activities.
Find out more about CRE8 here: www.cre8-workspaces.co.uk.