Prior to the pandemic, the conventional thought practices focused on the fact that offices were seen as critical to productivity, culture, and winning over talent. Organisations competed intensely for prime office space and many focused on solutions that were seen to promote collaboration. Densification, open-office designs and co-working were key trends. This thinking has been dramatically challenged as productivity levels remained much the same while the global workforce shifted to remote working practices.
Leading organizations are now boldly questioning those long-held assumptions about how work should be done and the role of the office into the future. OPNBuildings is well positioned as a solution to help tackle some of these re-imaginings.
As occupants start returning to the office/workplace initial fears and need for reassurances are going to be at the forefront of their minds. The importance of ventilation in minimizing the spread of the virus has been well documented and publicised. Further to this the workforce is hyper aware of the need for well conditioned spaces and air quality management. The expectation is that occupants will be more demanding in terms of their expectations of the working environment and will be eager to gain visibility into their environmental conditions.
Our OPNSpaces solution allows you to reassure your occupants of indoor air quality and general wellbeing while working in indoor spaces. Openly sharing data through digital signage, information portals and reports will be a key factor in reassuring employees that the office is a safe place to work in the immediate term and will encourage them to come back more regularly in the long term.
The impact COVID19 has had on the workplace has created opportunities for organisations to reimagine their workplace strategies. How people work is evolving and will have significant impact on the direction of how the office will function from now on. In fact businesses who were in a position to operate an agile or activity based working model saw much less disruption and an overall easier transition to operate remotely when the world went into lockdown. Recent surveys have found that up to 90% of people want to work 2-3 days in the office and the rest of the week from home.
Again our OPNSpaces solution offers key advantages in managing these complex changes. By leveraging occupancy data office and facility managers will be more effective in managing day to day operations around cleaning, meeting room management, desk allocations, canteen and catering facilities for what will be a very mobile and transient population within the building.
A transformation based approach of reinventing offices will be necessary. Instead of adjusting the existing footprint incrementally, organisations will now need to take a fresh look at how much square footage is actually needed and also where this space is located. All with the aim of examining how it fosters new desired outcomes for collaboration, productivity, culture, and the work experience. Furthermore, the way existing space is designed will need to be examined closely. If the primary purpose of an organization’s space is to allow for moments of collaboration rather than individual 9-5 work, for example, should 80 percent of the office be designed to facilitate collaboration rooms? Should companies ask all employees who work in cubicles, and rarely have to attend group meetings, to work from homes permanently? Should all desks be made non permenant hot desks for people to jump in and out as needed?
In the drive for increased sustainability and as a response to the ever increasing cost per square meterage of prime rental space. Companies who embrace these changes and get the transformation right are in a great position to make massive savings and improve the sustainable usage of their existing building stock. Rent, capital costs, facilities operations, maintenance, and management make real estate the largest cost category outside of salary compensation for many organizations. We should all take the opportunity to maximise efficiencies in these costs with real workplace transformation.
OPNSpaces has the technology and solutions to give decision makers and planners real data and insight into occupancy levels, patterns of use as well as trends into the future of the new office environment.