By now, we know that the pandemic has transformed the modern office. The hybrid work model has become the new norm for many tech businesses, including Microsoft, Meta and Apple.
The rise of remote work isn’t all that has changed. Office design has also experienced a transformation since the pandemic, and many of those changes may be here to stay as we look ahead.
Here is what tech offices may look like in a post-pandemic landscape.
Typically, the interior of a tech office consists of individual offices, long tables with dividers, open-concept areas or a mix of these. In lieu of a standard desk, some offices are opting for electric standing tables and more ergonomic chairs to promote health and wellness.
While the 6-feet rule may not be as prominent as it once was, many offices may still incorporate some form of divider between desks or workstations. However, expect these to be more innovative and design-oriented going forward.
Detachable panels are all the rage these days. These add privacy to an open-concept work area, and can also be removed to make space for team huddles if needed. Glass or coloured panels will be a popular choice, as they are sleeker and more modern.
More collaboration spaces
The pandemic revealed that most tech jobs can be performed remotely. However, one thing remote workers lacked while working from home was the opportunity to collaborate and brainstorm with their colleagues in person.
It’s no secret that creative collaboration is a crucial element of the tech world, and it’s not quite the same on Zoom. Not to mention the positive effective in-person work can have on preventing loneliness and improving company culture.
Many employers will likely want to make the most of employees who are at the office on given days, and so we will certainly see more coworking-style spaces that are innovative, comfortable and inspire creativity.
High-top benches and pouf seating are growing trends, as they are fun and fresh ways to upgrade a workspace. Adding moveable whiteboards or bulletin boards to these areas is a great way to let employees jot down ideas.
More employers are investing in renovating areas of the office, not just to retain current employees but to invite in a younger workforce looking for flexibility and a more creatively stimulating work environment.
Even artwork and accessories are simple ways to personalize an office, highlight a company’s unique culture and make it a more enjoyable place to work. Tabletop pieces, paintings or art prints, colourful area rugs and even throw pillows can work wonders in making an office feel more like home, and we will likely see more design-forward touches like this.
Tech companies who switched to hybrid models probably found themselves with a lot more empty space—and fewer people in them—than before. So speaking of collaboration, expect to see a lot more multipurpose rooms in offices going forward.
What do we mean by this? Instead of designated “think tank” rooms, imagine an open-concept kitchen with trendy seating and amenities for employees to work, socialize and enjoy their lunch, depending on the time of day.
There you have it! In the coming months, tech spaces will all but certainly reflect the new work landscape we are currently in, one that is flexible, creatively stimulating and built for the future.
Lucia De Olazaval is the founder and president of allSPACES, a design-build firm that creates stylish modern offices for a range of corporate businesses.
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