According to a recent report by Iput and Arup, it was found that as little as 11% of employees are eager for a return to their office. With such a drastically low amount of enthusiasm for a transition back to what was normal office culture, what could the future possibly look like? Many would assume that if we are lucky enough to see a world without the Covid-19 pandemic plaguing society, then a swift return to normal office practice would be inevitable, but given recent findings, there may be a little more of a compromised solution on the cards.

The introduction of workplacemaking:

“Where workplace design has traditionally been about creating productive corporate environments, and placemaking has traditionally been about the making of public space, workplacemaking sits somewhere in the middle. It identifies five types of spaces that are essential to workplacemaking based on what employees are now seeking from office life.”

We’re all in the same boat when it comes to this “new normal” of working a few metres away from where we sleep, and although it certainly appears that modern workers are quite enjoying being able to work from home, it is not quite as simple when it comes to general levels of fulfilment and overall worker productivity. On this, Iput and Arup have come up with a new design to ensure employee fulfilment. 

Essentially, people need 5 things to remain happy and productive; 

“1. Watering holes: Places that attract people to linger, meet, and socialise.

2. Street classrooms: Places that bring people together in formal and informal knowledge exchange.

3. Cultural canvases: Places that can be shaped, curated, and programmed by people and communities.

4. Mind labs: Places that invite people to come together around shared issues, ideas and challenges.

5. Mind gardens: Places that support people’s individual and restorative thinking processes.”

Without these core necessities, people are unable to produce the same results as before. It is more important now that these previous simple pleasures can find a way to be reflected even for employees working from their own homes. By adapting and finding a way to replicate these 5 concepts online, working from home truly can remain standard practice even for giant corporations post-pandemic.

An uncertain future

“In delivering attractive workplaces, we build resilience into our portfolio and protect the long-term value of our assets while also delivering on our commitment to a responsible investment strategy”

Companies of all shapes and sizes now are faced with the task of providing their valued workforce with a work arrangement that suits their newfound preference for working remotely, while also fulfilling their human needs for interaction and engagement on a daily basis. Managers must support their workers more than ever, in a time where we’re all most vulnerable, yet, oddly, where those at the bottom of the corporate ladder now have more leverage than ever.