We’ve spent a lot of time this last year participating in video conferences and collaborating on professional projects via the Internet. Eventually, many of us will head back to the office, but what will we find?
Most of us left behind a generic office without a lot to recommend it. That’s why you should consider using the current downtime to renovate your office. Therefore, when you get back onsite, you’ll be able to encourage a spirit of collaboration through your words and by inhabiting a space that will help your staff and clients thrive.
Conference rooms are often cramped during major meetings and don’t leave enough room for participants and computers. So if you have the opportunity to significantly alter your workspace, you should consider expanding your conference room so everyone has enough room to maneuver.
With more space at the table, participants won’t have to worry about having too many items or elbowing each other while they’re trying to take notes.
Warm Things Up
Many office buildings are notoriously cold, not just in terms of decor choice, but in their actual temperature.
To fight this tendency, you don’t just need to turn up the heat. Instead, consider installing a modern, electric fireplace in a common area, such as the conference or waiting room. In a twist on the watercooler, a fireplace can make for the perfect gathering spot for brainstorming sessions and other small gatherings that encourage an exchange of ideas.
Cut Down On Echoes
Cold, hard materials like metal and concrete may foster an appealing, modern look, but in terms of acoustics, they can make offices harder to manage. They cause sounds to bounce around, magnify phone calls, and make it difficult to carry on more than one conversation at the same time.
Carpeting, window coverings, and other soft services can help reduce echoes and reverberation, and enable workers in other parts of the floor focus, even if a large meeting is going on.
Upgrade Your Tech
Even if we all return to an office, more operations will rely on remote contact and digital meetings . . . and that means your old projectors and speakers probably aren’t going to be sufficient. Now’s the perfect time to upgrade your IT equipment so your calls don’t lag and your sound and video quality are up to par.
Don’t complicate things overmuch, though; you don’t want to come back to an office full of equipment you can’t operate or that requires an excessive amount of IT support.
Offices are bound to look different when people start trickling back into them, especially if many companies continue to operate on split scheduling and make other modifications to in-person activities. In the midst of these more stressful changes, why not make your office space more welcoming for returning workers?
A few added comforts and conveniences may be just what the staff needs during these trying times.