We can see the end of the pandemic on the horizon and a gradual return to normal.
But we are all aware that the “normal” ways of working will be different from the past.
What the world of work will look like in the near future?
Ryan Anderson, VP Global Research and Insights at Herman Miller,, answers the question predicting the10 new Ways Of Working we have to prepare for.
1 Working From Home, Working From Beach, Working From Office
When offices do open back up, expect “distributed working”—giving people the freedom to work when and where they’d like—to win out over the traditional 9-to-5 desk life of the past. The office will still be a part of the equation, it just won’t be the whole equation. Variety is the spice of life after all.
2 Make Your Demands
With higher employee autonomy when it comes to locale and schedule, the office will become more of an “on demand” resource. To support their people, and make sure they’re getting a good return on real estate investments, facilities teams should focus on employees’ need for office space and meet that demand with the best possible experiences to keep people happy and healthy.
3 Take a Breath
Although we’ll all be quite thrilled to get within six feet of one another again, when it comes to the office, expect a dropped pressure to “densify” office floors with lots of small desks super close to one another. With people likely coming in on more of a revolving basis, we’ll all enjoy some metaphorical and literal breathing room next year.
4 Adapt Your Spaces
The way we work is totally different than it was a year ago, so spaces of the future need to be designed to maximize end-user control, giving people the power to adapt the space to their needs with furniture, technology, and even architecture that can be easily changed.
5 Be Well
With less people in the office moving forward, and with how cognizant we are of the role the office plays in our cognitive and social health, expect organizations to place a renewed emphasis on the space as a destination for socialization and culture-building (with quiet areas peppered throughout to focus and relax).
6 Say Goodbye to All These Meetings
The Zoom fatigue is real. So, as teams become increasingly more comfortable connecting at different times throughout the day—in the ways that suit them—versus having the whole team meet simultaneously, reopened offices will encourage informal dialogue, and require less video calls.
7 Enjoy the Great Outdoors
One silver lining of 2020? Many rediscovered the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of being outside. Look for both individuals and organizations to normalize and embrace outdoor working, and for office interiors to be inspired by or mimic the outdoors (biophilic design).
8 Get a New Career in a New Town
We love a big city, but they’re expensive and hard to navigate if you’re commuting in from the ‘burbs”.
As distributed working takes hold, expect people to migrate toward more affordable locales that offer big-city culture and amenities.
9 Give Coworking a Whirl
The first wave of coworking spaces were located in central business districts in big cities. Next year, they’ll likely be popping up in residential centers, giving people at home the chance to pop out and get a change of scenery for a couple hours depending on the task at hand.
10 Upgrade Your Home Office
Most people like Working From Home and Smart Working, but with it forced on us unexpectedly, not everyone was set with an ergonomic chair, monitor, etc.
Employers will give better furniture and technology for those keeping their home office in their weekly rotation—likely staying home to focus a couple days a week and coming in to collaborate and chat on the others.
The Clubhouse Office, is one of the many Herman Miller’s proposals to rethink the workplace.