Another day NOT in the office: How to design thriving workspaces for work and home

It’s fair to say hybrid working is here to stay. The genie is out of the bottle so to speak.

So, what does this mean from a workspace design perspective?

How do we entice employees back to the office and for what purpose?

And why are some workplaces still reluctant to embrace a more flexible and agile way of working? (“but it worked so well before” they say).

In our recent webinar in partnership with The Safe Step, we were joined by special guests Melissa Marsden, Workplace Dynamics Strategist, COMMUNiTI and Dr Libby Sander, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Bond University where we delved into these questions and more.

Dr Libby Sander kickstarted the discussion by stating “..one of the issues always with workspaces is that we haven’t designed it for the people that are actually there, and it has been a one-size fits all approach. People need to be able to focus, have a sense of beauty, and how we can connect, and how we design to these three principles will continue to be relevant going forward’.

This was reinforced by Melissa Marsden ‘It’s ultimately understanding who are the individuals in the organisation, how are they working, what is the role they are fulfilling and how does the space support and enable them to do their job’.

Katrina Walton then cited a recent Financial Review article that indicated ‘…the office is experiencing a real sea-change, and people have missed place not space, including social interactions in the office and collective effort.” Melissa revealed the types of spaces that we’re subsequently seeing evolve ‘..there’s still a requirement for workspaces for those attending office.. but there’s a shift towards needing alternative spaces including lots of different collaboration spaces such as lounging, analogue and digitally enabled to allow us to share with those working remotely..and the ability to have phone or zoom call..and a shift in the proportions and ratios of these spaces in our workplaces.”

Drawing on the panelists extensive research and on-the-ground insights, the practical discussion also explored the correlation between investment in the working environment and an organisation’s bottom line.

‘..many organisations are still just managing process and not outcomes…and this idea that you must be in the office to innovate and collaborate isn’t true, but face-to-face interaction is important but it comes back to culture and leadership, and putting humans at the centre of job design’

For more practical frameworks, tips and resources on HOW to create thriving workspaces that bring out the best in your people, tune into the recording below.