The Office No Longer Rules — But Is More Important Than Ever

Drees & Sommer office Zuerich © Arnold Weihs

Innovation accelerator office

Innovation does not happen by itself. Connectedness and knowledge exchange between employees do not happen in a static daily routine. They require presence and dialogue in the team. The more information is exchanged in a company, the greater the number of innovations. Innovation can also happen by chance. It is important for companies to support this, also by means of a suitable infrastructure.

Office spaces create loyalty and community. We need workspaces that make people want to be productive together. Certainly, the pandemic has greatly changed the balance between office and home office. Companies therefore need to create meeting spaces that also score points over the home office. The new role of the office is to offer everything that is not possible from a distance: chance encounters, after-work events, a sense of belonging.

The office of tomorrow

The office of the hybrid working world is spacious and can be divided according to user needs with mobile, multifunctional partition walls and shelving systems. It provides areas for cooperation and creativity, but also retreats for quiet work or telephoning. The latter are often glass cubicles that are publicly visible in the room. It has digital equipment with which colleagues working outside the office and business partners can be connected to the meeting. Plants hanging from the ceiling or on room dividers as well as moss walls provide a better room climate. Ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable desks relieve the spine and prevent damage to health. Sound-absorbing elements on walls or ceilings encourage teamwork without disturbing each other in the open spaces. Kitchen and common rooms are staged as meeting places. In addition to the functional aspect, these places should be enriched with emotion and experience, not least through social contacts.

Sustainability is substantial

A company’s office provides an authentic, emotional brand experience. Today, it serves as a “filling station” for identity and integrity.  In the competition for new talent, the office represents the company’s business card.

Sustainable design is about finding solutions for both the planet and its inhabitants. Existing elements are reused and integrated into the new concept as a component of sustainable design. Workplaces designed according to ecological principles increase the well-being and productivity of employees. In addition, sustainable action has a positive impact on the employer’s brand.

These factors – brand experience and sustainable office equipment – must be taken into account when designing new office concepts.

Activity-based working

Activity-based working is the buzzword for the spatial location of the new way of working: depending on the activity and work phase, the appropriate place is sought out. The individual workplace with family photo disappears with the desk-sharing concepts. Instead, team photos now appear as decoration in the common rooms. There are no fixed workstations, but each team has a “home” with storage facilities, pinboards and lockers. Shared spaces with workstations booked via an app are taking centre stage. And under certain circumstances, this can also be the glass cubicle.

Added value office

Jelena Perusinovic from the consulting and planning company Drees & Sommer accompanied the conversion of her employer in Munsbach last year. “When it comes to choosing a place to work, the home office competes with the office. We have to make offices more attractive so that people want to come back to the office,” says the workplace consultant. “The office has to make an effort to be interesting as a meeting place. I expect added value when I move there,” she says, referring to today’s  networked individual society whose members can work from anywhere. There is a high expectation among employees for the place of work and the flexibility to choose it. “We are going back to the office, but with a clear change in needs,” Jelena Perusinovic points out.

“The experiences of the last few months since the renovation of our own Drees & Sommer office in Luxembourg show a run to the new space. A sense of community and creativity through swarm intelligence are recognisable and so we are creating with the office a kind of home that everyone likes to come to,” Jelena Perusinovic sums up.

Drees & Sommer is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Luxembourg this year. The service portfolio of the consulting and planning company for real estate and infrastructure includes Workplace Consulting and IT Infrastructure Design. Are you interested in a future-proof working environment? We are here for you!

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