O12 are true believers in culture – that it sits at the core of all organisations, and that it is elevated throughout all aspects of the business. Offices can now support the life priorities as well as the professional ambitions of an individual. A balance of office-based and remote working should be perceived as mutually beneficial. Businesses can free up desk space, promoting flexible working environments that rotate staff via ‘hot-desking’ practices. Practices that will allow the office to accommodate more employees than was originally designed for, subsequently optimising floor space and cost. Those spaces liberated from desks can be re-imagined as creative, collaborative stations and social activation areas that heighten employee engagement. Effective use of technology will be layered into the office, continuing to promote inventive means of connecting with all employees, regardless of their location. A focus on biophilic design also promises to explore creative ways of connecting to nature within architectural environments, sustaining our passion for the outdoors and the sense of wellbeing this offers to the employee.
We have all been asked to make changes by recent events, but we are now able to ask something of these changes, that they return a positive approach to the way we work and that we exercise change for the better. This is a prime opportunity for businesses and brands to re-establish the working environment, future proof and provide a space that contributes to success. Bringing culture to life through the design of workspaces and the experience of the employee promotes a sense of belonging and heightens employee engagement. The positive effects on productivity and financial performance, together with client and talent retention, are all well documented. We are now making our plans to return to work soon, and we hope to support the innovators in creating workplaces that celebrate change and culture.