At Avenue 77 we primarily listen. We listen to our prospects to understand their needs. We listen to competitors to understand their offering. We have a board of advisors, each an expert in their specific domain. We carefully listen to them too. And then we listen to the office strategy of other companies.
Below you will read how other companies reflect on their post-COVID office strategy.
many large companies have already announced that for most of their workforce, even post-COVID, partial homeworking will continue to be the norm. Teleworking empowers people to oversee their own daily planning. It allows more focus and the feedback of many employees demonstrates that people can be more productive and efficient from their home office.
At the same time, businesses instantly became dependent on the digital world of mobile devices, video conferencing, messaging apps and the internet. In the long-term, employees may feel less attached to a physical office. However, it will still play a significant role in maintaining a culture of belonging, collaboration and innovation. Last week Telenet, a prominent Belgian telco, announced it would turn their seven offices into meeting places, where people follow a training seminar or meet to brainstorm. Parking spaces will transform into open-air meeting areas. Individual working spaces will be reduced and only available upon reservation with an app. All of this shall continue after the COVID pandemic passes.
Past – Present – Future ?
A recent whitepaper by CBRE predicts how the intersection of the physical and digital world is likely to impact the new workplace.
Pre-COVID, the rise of flexible office spaces and modern, experience-driven workplace environments was a huge shift from the traditional real estate model. But this transformation was adopted by only the most progressive developers, landlords and companies as the way of the future.
As they emerge from COVID lockdown(s), employees will vote with their feet and choose places to work that offer new choices and spaces to cultivate their creativity, increase their productivity and most importantly improve their health and wellness.
The intersection of the new physical and digital working worlds will impact the office in several ways:
- The headquarters location likely will be less dense, with a greater emphasis on shared collaboration space rather than dedicated individual space. Activity-based workplaces will become the norm.
- Higher-quality buildouts with finishes, furnishings, technology and amenities that draw employees into the workplace will be more commonplace.
- Desk sharing will be integral to satisfy a more mobile workforce that uses the office on a part-time basis, whilst promoting cost efficiency.
- Conference rooms will be designed to create productive environments for in-person and remote workers to engage productively and on a level playing field. Tech-enabled rooms of all sizes with intuitive tools that allow participants to seamlessly connect and collaborate virtually and effectively will become the new standard.
- Telephone-only conferencing will no longer suffice. Meeting participants having access to virtual technology to both see and hear each other whether in or out of the office is the way forward.
- Mobile apps to connect employees with one another and to navigate the physical environment will become paramount for effective communication and company culture. These include building layouts and access, space booking, food delivery and adjacent amenities.
In short, it will be necessary to offer employees the same things they have in the palm of their hands in their professional lives.