In an industry that I hold dear and have been involved in since 1991, there has been many changes in trends, many ups and downs. None have had such an impact on the way we do business and the way we make use of office space, as the aftermath of lock down.
Not only in South Africa, but all over the world, the words, “new normal” is used to describe our current situation.
The lock down has caused many businesses to go under, many families have lost their sources of income. COVID statistics are always on the news. Our humanity is greatly affected and there are many people who try to help the less fortunate, and we spare a thought for those with less than us.
On the flip side, it has given many families the opportunity to connect again, many entrepreneurs have risen from the “ashes”, so to speak. And the office furniture industry has had to move with the times. The show must go on.
With many employees working from home, employers have had to adjust their office spaces, which has led to a flood of 2nd hand furniture onto the market.
Enter a need for “work from home” solutions. First it was the dining room table when we thought the lock down would be 3 weeks, then a month. Then it stretched to a year on various levels of restrictions. Still, more than a year later, there are many that still work from home and have hardly been to the office. What does this say for offices? Are they becoming redundant?
Not by a long shot and you only have to do a few internet searches to find some positive news regarding new ways corporates and even smaller businesses are adapting to the “new normal”.
A New York based firm posted this very informative article.
What remains evident is flexibility. Flexibility of the work place and flexibility of the employees.
It is not enough to take care of the safety of one’s work environment. What about the social aspect. Many of us have made good friends at work and let’s face it, working at home can be lonely.
As mentioned in this blog, the office has become a collaborative space, where colleagues share ideas and progress. We all need social interaction, even in a structured work environment.
In order to accommodate these interactive, safe meeting environments, pods have become the big buzz word. https://www.fusionofficedesign.co.uk/product/office-pods/