Workplace Design: The Art of Connecting the Remote Workforce

Workplace Design: The Art of Connecting the Remote Workforce

Workplace design is even more important than ever

As the trend to let team members work from home becomes ever more popular, one would think that the demand for great workplace design would essentially falter, or that offices would at least be reduced to only the bare essentials. However, it turns out that the more flexibility you give your team, the more essential your workplace design becomes.

It sounds paradoxical, but the rise of the home worker has created more demand for exceptional workplace design. After all, if you’re going to coax your employees away from their peaceful home, have them put up with an arduous commute and deal with all the irritating things you have to do if you come to an actual place of work – like, I don’t know, getting dressed. It goes without say that you have to really make it worth it.

Don’t get me wrong, the benefits of remote working are clear – employees can work more autonomously, attend to personal commitments that they previously would have needed time off for, and it affords them far more flexibility in terms of their working hours. This has removed the political clock-watching component from shared office spaces, and it has been proven to directly influence productivity and creativity in a positive way.

However, as the trend for home-working reaches levels never previously seen, it has started to emerge that it’s not all upside. There is a darker side to home-working that can leave team members feeling disconnected, distracted and out of a healthy feedback loop that gives individuals true job satisfaction. Furthermore, when that sense of isolation sets in, the ability to create and innovate drops significantly.

The darker side to home-working

Research proves that the most damaging drawback of limited face to face exchanges with colleagues and management is a significantly reduced ability to influence peers. It’s much harder to get people to see things your way when you’re not actually with them. After all, between 60% and 90% of communication is judged to be non-verbal.

In response to these findings, companies have started to introduce start-of-the-art technology to attempt to bridge these gaps, affording employees contact with those they need to collaborate with through virtual means. And yet somehow, this is just not enough. There’s an energising current that flows in groups that gather in person that cannot be replicated in the virtual space.

The human need for connection can never be entirely satisfied online. Business leaders are realising that it is more than just Connection that is needed – it is Organic Connection the remote workforce is lacking.

An engaging workspace then, is the perfect remedy for team members who are feeling disconnected, from the employer, from colleagues, and, in a sense, from the work itself.

Workplaces of the future

Workplace designers (like ourselves), are now charged with the exciting task of creating spaces that draw employees in, inspire them, energise them, and afford them opportunities to connect and collaborate in meaningful ways.

We believe that the workplaces of the future will look more like creative studios or first class airline lounges, where think-tanks and solution hubs organically form as and when the need arises. With easy access to digital and physical libraries for research, and informal meeting spaces that encourage groups of employees to meet regularly.

These new rules of workplace design will transform the traditional office into fluid, living spaces, that evolve and adapt to the needs of the team members who choose to be there because it’s calmer, more productive and more collaborative than sitting at the kitchen table with only the cat for company.

In the age of the the remote workforce, exceptional workplace design has become more crucial than ever before. To speak to a member of our team about transforming your workplace – click here.