1 April 2021

Back to the (re-designed) office

Could the digital workplace evolution turn into a physical workplace evolution? And how does the big shift to flexi-working change things?

Millions of us are getting ready to go back to the office in the coming months. But what should those offices look and feel like post-Covid? Could the digital workplace evolution turn into a physical workplace evolution? And how does the big shift to flexi-working change things?

Sketchpads at the ready: here’s your starter guide to post-Covid workplace redesign.


What’s the big idea?

This is about re-designing your physical workplace to boost colleague wellbeing and productivity. It’s not just re-arranging the desks. It’s about creating an engagement-boosting environment that your people love.


When and where’s it happening?

Right now and everywhere. We’re predicting that in 2021 and 2022, physical workplace redesign will be a global trend, particularly with the rise in flexi-working: 9 out of 10 people say they don’t want to go back into the office full time.


Why the sudden focus?

The Covid pandemic led to a digital workplace evolution (please link to conference notes). But it also meant that companies tuned into employee wellbeing like never before. It was a lightbulb moment. Happier employees are 20% more productive, more likely to be an advocate for your company, and more likely to stay. That focus on wellbeing isn’t going anywhere – physical workspaces are the obvious next step.


So, how do you do it?

Research is key. Before you order that foosball table, follow these steps:

1. Define the purpose and function of your space

Think about more than just flexi- or hybrid working: what are the tasks you want people to complete when they’re there? how can the space be shaped to support colleagues in doing their best work?


2. Ask employees what they need

How do they want to use the space? What would really make a difference? Think about all the little changes they’ve made working from home that have boosted their focus, productivity and work-life balance. Can you enable any of those in the shared office space?


3. Work with colleagues on the redesign

Developed during her time at London School of Economics, our Behavioural Strategist Chloe Foy uses the evidence-based SALIENT checklist to cover all the elements of a space to help give you the best chance at improving health, wellbeing, productivity.










Top tip: Everybody’s different. Some people love having the radio on. Some can only work in silence. Build flexibility into your design to support your inclusivity and diversity aims.  


Got grand designs?

We’re passionate believers in creating the right environment for employees to succeed, literally as well as figuratively! To talk more about how you can use science to help boost productivity, wellbeing and engagement, drop us a line.   


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