If you design it (well), they will commute: why office design matters

Amid the pandemic and the ensuing rise in remote work, we all recall the many headlines calling to the death of the office.

Nonetheless, it is evident after two years that the workplace has not perished; instead, it has undergone an irreversible transformation and had to step up to stay in the game.

As a result of the pandemic, there has been an emergence of new workspaces that cater to digital nomads and the new, changing needs of employees. And despite the increased flexibility of remote work, it’s clear there is still a desire for a shared physical space where a company's culture can flourish. But in a highly competitive landscape where working options are multiplying and businesses are struggling to retain their talent and fill their empty desks, good office design is the pivotal element will make a difference.

Over the last few years, the significance of physical workspaces has been scrutinized and debated. While many workers are not yet ready to return to the office on a full-time basis, most of them are not prepared to work from home full time either and hybrid work has emerged as the preferred option.

Arguably, even if people choose not to work from their living room full time, with today’s tech the option to work from anywhere else is there for them. So why should they choose the office? We think, for a number of reasons. Office perks, increased productivity, social interactions, the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in person. And most importantly, to connect and feel part of their business culture. To offer compelling reasons for people to leave their homes and brave the commute, offices need to provide an experience that employees wouldn’t be able to have in their home, at their a local café or anywhere else.

So it’s no surprise that office design is taking cues from the hospitality industry and slick, members-only clubs to create spaces that offer more than just a place to work, but a destination that employees want to be in, while feeling part of their business. This trend is driven by the desire to provide a workplace that caters to the holistic needs of workers, from professional to personal, in a comfortable and inspiring environment.

Now more than ever, placemaking matters. Investing in rethinking and refurbishing space can have significant benefits, and a well-thought out office design will result in happier employees and a better performance for any business.

Image credit: Clever by Danielsen Spaceplanning